Alabama lottery bills making progress since introduction one week ago

Baldwin County

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WKRG) — No one has picked winning Powerball numbers in the country since last year.  The jackpot has ballooned to $750 million dollars and the drawing is tonight as drivers in Alabama ponder the drive across the state line for a ticket.

The first gas station across the Alabama state line in Florida traveling from Baldwin County may see a lot of Alabama license plates pull into the convenience store throughout the day.  This as the Alabama legislature ponders its own lottery.

Last week State Senator Jim McClendon once again introduced bills that, if passed and signed by the governor, would allow voters merely to vote on a constitutional amendment to create an Alabama lottery.  The legislation has failed in years past.  We checked in with him yesterday.  McClendon says the bills have been assigned to the tourism committee and should have hearings after spring break.  He says he’s optimistic this could be the year for lotto in Alabama because the composition of the House and Senate has changed since the last time around in 2016.

We’ve got new members about 25% and some of the people they replaced were adamantly opposed to anything that reeked of anything like gambling, said McClendon via a phone interview Tuesday morning.  Mississippi is the last Alabama border state without a lottery to get one.  They start selling tickets this year.  McClendon says that strengthens the argument for Alabama to pass its own lottery instead of losing out on more potential revenue.  


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