'Sweet Home Alabama' bill dead in State Legislature

Posted by: Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- In just a few months time, the bill with its star-studded ad campaign appears to have died in the State Senate from lack of support.

While popular with some voters, the bill--which would have regulated, taxed and limited electronic bingo--met opposition from others, including Governor Bob Riley.

"When it comes to what they would pay back to the people of Alabama or what they would pay in revenue is truly table scraps," Riley said during an earlier press conference.

Democratic Senator Lowell Barron of Fyffe announced he has no plans to place the measure on the Senate's agenda.

Opponents in the Governor's office say it's no surprise.

"It makes a couple of casino operators rich at the expense of everyone else, so there was a big difference between what they advertised and what was actually true," explained Todd Stacy, Riley's press secretary.

What does it mean for the state?

Sponsors tell WSFA 12 News killing the constitutional amendment means killing revenue sources across Alabama.

That includes White Hall Entertainment Center in Lowndes County and the upcoming Country Crossing project in Houston County.

"I think it's just a common sense approach to tax an industry that's making millions of dollars that taxpayers in the state of Alabama are unable to benefit from," explained Democratic State Senator Quinton Ross of Montgomery, sponsor of one version of the bill.

As of right now, state legislators are passing on the "Sweet Home Alabama" bill, but with time still left in the session, sponsors are holding out hope for the measure.

"Hope springs eternal, so I'm always optimistic," Ross said.

Meanwhile, opponents wait for the opposite result.

"Hopefully, it is dead, and it certainly would please the Governor if it was," Stacy explained.

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