On March 19, Alabama State Senator Jim McClendon told the public that he plans to introduce a bill to legalize the lottery in the state.
McClendon previously supported similar legislation in 2016, but it failed to become law and was shot down during a special session called by Governor Robert Bentley.
But, the state senator from Springville is pushing forward with a lottery bill once again in hopes that it will generate more revenue for the state coffers.
“The people of Alabama have convinced me, the people in my district, that they would like to be able to buy a lottery ticket without having to drive to another state,” McClendon said according to AL.com. “They’d like to be able to buy a lottery ticket just like folks in 45 states across our nation can do.”
The Alabama Constitution prohibits lotteries, so a voter’s referendum would have to amend the state constitution in order for a lottery to be set up. Therefore, McClendon would rely on the support of Alabaman to start a lottery.
The state’s voters last rejected a lottery referendum in 1999, and state legislators have put up a bill every year since, but all have failed.
Every state surrounding Alabama has a lottery, so Alabamans can travel to another state to participate in the lottery. However, McClendon did not clarify how many Alabamans are traveling to other states to participate in the lottery.
The state senator said he wants profits from the lottery to go to the Education Fund and the General Fund. However, this is highly controversial as lottery tickets are most frequently purchased by people in lower income brackets.