Walt Maddox unveils education lottery plan

Walt Maddox
Walt Maddox [Photo Credit: City of Tuscaloosa]

Tuscaloosa Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walt Maddox on Monday unveiled a plan for a statewide education lottery to help create a 21st Century educational system to help prepare Alabama’s children for competition in the technological age before us.

“There is no investment of public funds that provides greater return than an investment in education. We can transform Alabama’s education system without raising taxes one penny. It’s time the people vote and we implement the Alabama Education Lottery,” Maddox said of his plan.

According to Maddox, the creation of the education lottery will provide $300 million.

Named the Alabama Education Lottery, this funding will allow:

  • Scholarships for thousands of Alabama students for higher education and workforce development programs.
  • Expansion of the state’s nationally award-winning Pre-K program to all Alabama students.
  • Creation of the Promise Program that helps relieve funding inequities between Alabama’s richest and poorest schools.
  • Creation of Community Innovation Grants to assist schools and regions in utilizing existing medical, mental health, social assistance, and psychological support programs to solve problems that clearly affect the quality of education.

In a statement, Maddox said, “As Governor, I will push for legislation to allow the people to vote on the establishment of the Alabama Education Lottery. I believe the people want a better future for our children and for our state. It is time for the politicians to get out of the way and let the people vote,” he said.

Maddox’s Democratic challenger, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, has also announced a lottery plan recently.

Evangelist and Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Dawson says Maddox’s and Cobb’s lottery proposals keep Alabama in the past, preying on those who can least afford it, and bank the future of our kids on a game of chance. 

“Democrats want to bank the future of our kids on a game of chance and that is not something that I’m willing to risk,” Dawson said in a statement. “A lottery keeps Alabama in the past and preys on those who can least afford it with math that fails to add up and leaves states like Illinois unable to pay their winners. With responsible budgeting, rewards for hard work, and common-sense initiatives in our classrooms, we will launch Alabama into future where everyone can win.” 

Maddox will face Cobb, along with Christopher CountrymanJames Fields, Doug Smith and Anthony White in the June 5 Democratic primary.

The winner will go on to face the Republican nominee in the general election, to be selected among: Dawson, Gov. Kay Ivey, Tommy Battle, Bill Hightower or Michael McAllister.