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Proposed lottery proceeds would go toward academic scholarships

Updated: May. 3, 2021 at 8:05 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A House committee held a public hearing Monday on a bill that details how a proposed statewide lottery would work in Alabama.

The Ways and Means Education Committee took up the enabling legislation for a proposed lottery. This is not the constitutional amendment that would create a statewide lottery.

Rep. Chris Blackshear, R-Phenix City, who is carrying the legislation, said the bill establishes education lottery scholarship programs.

The bill creates two-year and four-year scholarship programs for eligible students. Under the current House proposal, eligible students would receive $2,500 annually.

Blackshear said it also creates scholarships for students who have graduated from a higher education institution in Alabama who still decide to work in the state.

The House version of the enabling legislation is different than the Senate’s version. The Senate version of the bill said that 50% of the lottery proceeds would go to postsecondary scholarships for people who will work in fields that are in high demand. The other 50% would be used for schools. And 70% of that pot would be used for K-12 education while 30% would go toward higher education.

The Alabama House is set to consider also the bills that would create a lottery, establish and expand casinos, and legalize sports betting.

If lawmakers pass the constitutional amendment to create a lottery and expand casino gaming, it would go to Alabamians on the ballot for a vote.

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