AL lawmakers, not governors hold fate of any lottery

AL lawmakers, not governors hold fate of any lottery

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama Democratic gubernatorial candidates Walt Maddox and Sue Bell Cobb are hoping their support of a lottery puts them in the governor's office, but even if it does, they'll quickly find a governor has no official role on a potential lottery bill passing.

A lottery would come in the form of a constitutional amendment and it would need to pass through the legislature, then find approval of voters before it would go into effect. The constitutional amendment would never cross the governor's desk.

Governor's do have the power of the bully pulpit to support the legislation, but the power can only go so far.

Two years ago, then Gov. Robert Bentley called a special session to focus on a lottery to help solve funding issues. It failed to get approval from lawmakers.

Alabama's legislators have been unable to agree on the details of a lottery in past years. Details like where the money should go and should gaming be included have been just some of the major divisive points.

And to date, no lottery proposal has gained any momentum in 2018. But a renewed focus and potential budget issues could make it a major point of discussion in 2019.

The state's budget is propped up this year by $93 million from the BP settlement. That money will not be available next year. And costs from the Department of Corrections are expected to rise in the coming year.

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