New Alabama lottery bill proposed

Updated: Mar. 10, 2021 at 7:54 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A state lawmaker revealed a new proposal to create a lottery in Alabama.

Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, filed the new proposal Tuesday.

This comes after the gambling bill sponsored by Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, failed to pass through the state Senate by two votes Tuesday.

“My hope is to get through the legislature a bill that allows Alabamians to play lottery games just like they would play in any state that surrounds us,” said Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville.

He said the proposal could bring in a couple million dollars for the state, with 50% of the revenue going towards the Education Trust Fund and the other half for the General Fund budget.

Alabama’s surrounding states have a lottery.

“Our citizens are going to those states and leaving their money. What I want to do is for those citizens to be able to participate in a lottery here in Alabama, locally buy tickets,” McClendon added.

Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, had not seen the bill but said he wants to make sure the proposal is a good lottery bill for the state.

“There’s no need in us just having a lottery bill if people can’t play in the Powerball and all those other games, or scratch off and draw three,” Singleton said. “People will want to do that.”

Some of those who voted no on the gambling proposal sponsored by Marsh Tuesday said they are open to looking at McClendon’s bill.

“I will objectively consider it. But as we saw with the gambling bill, it changes. It changes and it morphs, even on the floor,” said Sen. Clyde Chambliss, R-Prattville.

Chambliss opposed Marsh’s gambling proposal because he did not want specific entities that would be allowed casino-style games being included in the constitution amendment. However, Chambliss said he wanted it part of the enabling legislation that was paired with the CA.

“I’m fundamentally opposed to that being the way that you balance a state budget. But I do understand that there’s a large segment of the population that wants to vote on lottery and thinks we ought to have a lottery,” said Sen. Larry Stutts, R-Tuscumbia, who voted against Marh’s proposal Tuesday.

McClendon said he hopes his bill is in the committee soon.