State Rep. Matt Fridy: Legislature’s general fund lottery proposal would have been rejected by voters
Would voters have approved a lottery with proceeds steered to the state’s general fund over its education trust fund?
We may never know given such a proposal to do just that passed the Alabama Senate this year but was not considered by the Alabama House of Representatives. And when a lottery proposal with 25% of proceeds dedicated to the education trust fund, it still failed to pass the House.
One of those voting against it in the House was State Rep. Matt Fridy (R-Montevallo). He argued that even if the legislature had gotten enough support to get the three-fifths majority required to send a constitutional amendment for a lottery to be considered by voters on an election ballot, voters likely would have rejected it if proceeds were steered to the general fund.
“I really haven’t heard from very many other people,” Fridy said on Thursday’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Huntsville radio’s WVNN. “Those that I have heard from, when I explained that this is not an education lottery — this is a general fund lottery for the legislators to spend on the general fund however they want to, it’s nearly unanimous that people tell me, ‘Well, I’m glad you voted no on that because I wouldn’t want that kind of lottery.'”
“I don’t see the reason for putting a lottery out there for a vote when all the polls show us that the lottery that’s being proposed is going to be voted down,” he added. “There’s no reason to waste everybody’s time on a form of a lottery that the voters are going to reject. If we’re going to come with a lottery, it’s going to be one that we feel like the people are going to pass. Otherwise, we’re just wasting everybody’s time, and we’re wasting the taxpayer’s money.”
The Shelby County Republican prefaced his remarks by saying polling he had seen wasn’t tied to this specific proposal but in general.
“I don’t think it would have,” he said. “Now, I didn’t see any specific polling data for this specific lottery proposal at this specific time. But really, I’ve seen polling over the last year with regard to the lottery that shows the kind of lottery people want to vote for is an education lottery, not a general fund lottery.”