Sen. McClendon: Special session lottery bill 'dead'

Sen. McClendon: Special session lottery bill 'dead'

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Senator Jim McClendon has proclaimed passage of a lottery amendment during the current special session of the legislature dead. "It's over" he said.

McClendon's statement came shortly after lawmakers in the House adjourned until Sept. 6., a move that eliminated any chance of a lottery amendment being added to the November general election ballot.

The move showed that lawmakers, especially in the Senate, are at an impasse when it comes to the lottery bill.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said the House has done "good work", and added that he wants to take a break and maybe have a solution when lawmakers come back. He said the House is more or less waiting on the Senate, explaining that while both the lottery and BP bills have been held up, it's "part of the process".

McClendon's proclamation appear to make McCutcheon's statement a moot point, however.

Governor Robert Bentley expressed disappointment with lawmakers killing the lottery debate. A lottery was seen as the one realistic long term funding source for Medicaid. With the bills death, it puts 748 million in federal funding.

"That vote today was not against my bill. It was not against me, it was against those children, those half a million children that are in poverty today," Bentley said. "They looked those children in the eye today, those that voted against it, they looked those children in the eye and they said, 'I am not going to do anything to fund your health insurance.'"

When the House comes back into session on Sept. 6 there will only be three days left in the special session to come up with a solution to a lottery and the issue of what to do with BP settlement funds.

Bentley did not rule out the possibility of another special session to bring the lottery back up.

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