State Rep. Clouse to propose a lottery bill that would fund education initiatives
Alabama State Representative Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) will introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session that would amend Alabama’s constitution to create a state-operated lottery. The bill would direct 100% of the revenue generated by the lottery to education programs.
Clouse says that half of the funds would go to the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education for the state’s pre-k program, while the other half would go to scholarship-type programs that would assist students that need help paying for college.
“The scholarship part we’d have to develop language along the lines on the Tennessee Promise … primarily career tech degrees that we so sorely need right now,” Clouse told Yellowhammer News.
Clouse pointed out that after Missippi’s lottery opened in late 2019, each of the states that border Alabama now has a lottery. The Wiregrass native believes that this could help spur the bill on to passage after numerous efforts have stalled in recent years.
Clouse stated, “You know, it sort of gets to the point of being ridiculous that we don’t have a lottery.”
The lottery under Clouse’s proposal would be what is commonly referred to as a “paper lottery.” It would include scratch-off tickets, as well as participation in multi-state lotteries that Alabamians may have seen on billboards in neighboring states such as Mega Millions.
Clouse referred to estimates from the Legislative Fiscal Office that estimate the lottery would generate around $160 million a year. He also added that many surrounding states have beaten their revenue estimates once implemented.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.