Luther Strange weighs in on Alabama lottery legislation

Lottery budget money

Various lottery bills are being considered by Alabama state lawmakers Tuesday, but Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange doesn’t support any of them.

Strange released a statement Tuesday morning, calling the proposed state lottery a “Band-Aid” for the state’s ongoing budget shortfall.

“I am personally opposed to any lottery to fund state government,” said Strange. “I believe the lottery is, at best, a Band-Aid on the state’s budgetary problems and will not provide the kind of longterm solution we need.”

He also said he believes one of the lottery proposals could open loopholes that would lead to casino gambling.

Strange continued, “As attorney general, I have been approached by the Legislature to offer a legal interpretation of the impact of the various lottery proposals upon the state. My office has reviewed the governor’s proposed constitutional amendment (SB3). If the amendment passes as proposed and is followed by responsible enabling legislation, my legal team believes it will create a limited lottery without the kinds of loopholes that will lead to casino gambling or protracted litigation. However, if Sen. McClendon’s proposed constitutional amendment (SB11) passes, my legal team believes it will not only allow for a lottery, but will lead to casino gambling and protracted litigation.”

A special session of the state Legislature began Monday to consider a state lottery. There, Gov. Robert Bentley is asking state lawmakers to approve a referendum that would allow state voters to decide whether or not Alabama should have a lottery.

Bentley said a lottery could raise an estimated $225 million per year.


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