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Alabama may try lottery vote in special session

Jul 25, 2016, 12:08 pm

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According to Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, Alabama lawmakers are being polled in regard to their support for legislation establishing a lottery ahead of a presumed special session.

Gov. Robert Bentley said last week he's considering a special session to tackle budget issues, such as the lingering $85 million gap in the state's Medicaid program. Lawmakers funded up to $700 million for Medicaid, which requires at least $785 million to operate.

A special session would be called later this summer or soon after.

Several Alabama legislators have lottery bills in the works, including House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, and Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville.

"The constituents in my district have made it clear to me that they don't understand why we don't have a lottery," McClendon said in a recent story. "The people of Alabama want it and the people of Alabama deserve the opportunity to vote yes or no."

Ford's bill would funnel lottery revenue toward education purposes, including two-year scholarships.

Alabama is one of six states to not have a lottery system. Only Mississippi, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii and Nevada are also without a lottery.

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