Update: Lottery Bill Hits Stumbling Block in Senate

lottery alabama

The Latest on lottery legislation and a special session of the Alabama Legislature (all times local):

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1 p.m.

Gov. Robert Bentley’s lottery bill hit a major stumbling block over the issue of electronic gaming.

Several Democrats, who previously voted for the bill, said Friday they wanted to allow, or at least keep the door open, to electronic gambling machines at state dog tracks.

Senators on Friday will decide whether to go along with House changes to the bill or send the bill to conference committee.

Sen. Bobby Singleton is seeking to add language guaranteeing that tracks could get the same casino games if a governor ever negotiated a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Singleton also criticized a House amendment prohibiting electronic lottery terminals, saying that was limiting the state’s ability to make money.

Sen. Quinton Ross of Montgomery said the bill as written did not solve the state’s Medicaid program.

The disagreements could doom the bill just short of the legislative finish line. The governor needs to maintain a fragile 21-vote coalition in the Senate to get the bill approved.

House Minority Leader Crag Ford Responds To State Senate Killing The Lottery Bill

“After years of fighting for a lottery and finally getting it through the legislature last night, the senate killed it today and denied the people of Alabama the right to vote. It’s a shame that democracy has lost to attitudes, personalities and egos from the Senate body.”

Rep. Craig Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden and the Minority Leader in the Alabama House of Representatives.

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9:42 a.m.

Gov. Robert Bentley’s proposed lottery is inching toward final passage in the Alabama Legislature.

Legislators could give final approval to the bill Friday after the House of Representatives narrowly approved the measure in a late night vote.

Bentley is seeking the first statewide referendum on creating a lottery since 1999, saying the money is needed to maintain the state’s Medicaid program.

Senators will decide whether to go along with minor House changes to the bill.

Lawmakers are also trying to approve a division of state settlement funds from the 2010 oil spill. The House-passed bill would provide additional money to Medicaid next fiscal year by paying off state debts early.

The bills are the centerpiece of a special session on Medicaid.

Alabama is one of six states without a lottery.

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Categories: Statewide