Del Marsh says Alabama lawmakers polled on lottery legislation

State Capitol of Alabama

According to Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, Alabama lawmakers are being polled regarding their support for lottery legislation as Gov. Robert Bentley contemplates a special session of the Alabama Legislature later this summer or in early fall.

Last week Bentley announced he’s still considering a special session to make up a shortfall in the state’s Medicaid funding — which fell short of the agency’s requested budget by $85 million — and that he anticipated an announcement soon on whether he would call said session. In the spring, lawmakers funded up to $700 million for Medicaid. The program requires at least $785 million to operate. A state lottery could potentially fund the budget shortfall.

Several lawmakers have lottery bills in the works, including Gadsden-Democrat and House Minority Leader Craig Ford and Springfield-Republican Sen. Jim McClendon.

Earlier this year, other lottery bills stalled in the Legislature under a mix of opposition to gambling, disagreements on how a state lottery should be structured and a push to include casino gambling. The bills failed to receive a floor vote in either chamber.

Forty-four states have lotteries. Alabama is one of only six states without one, along with Mississippi, Utah, Nevada, Hawaii and Alaska. The state last considered a lottery in 1999, under Gov. Don Siegelman, when it was voted down.


  1. No, a state lottery COULD NOT potentially fund Alabama’s Medicaid short fall! Why? Because Medicaid needs the money yesterday and a lottery would take two to three years before it could begin to generate any revenue at all.

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