Casino and lottery bids rejected in Alabama

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According to “The Fresno Bee”, the disappearance of the bill for Alabama has led to pointing out those responsible and a fruitless effort by Republicans to change the bill to a Republican-backed lottery proposal after a day of negotiations.

House spokesman Mac McCutcheon was informed with doubts that the legislation would be passed with only one day remaining at the 2021 session. The last day of the legislative session is May 17.

McCutcheon was quoted: “Tensions were high because people have been working so hard. Everyone was really upset about the way things were. There was no effort to pull anything behind anyone’s back. We were trying to get an account on the floor. “.

“It will be difficult to get it approved now,” he added.

As to why the legislation failed, Republicans blamed Democrats for making last-minute demands on the bill, while Democrats criticized Republicans for pushing to change the bill.

Representative Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, commented: “If you have no integrity when dealing with games, you need to give up. And what I saw in this room tonight, integrity is nowhere around.”

The casino and lottery bill needed the support of both parties to gain approval due to the opposition of some conservative members to the game. Roadblocks arose because of locations and requests from Democrats to sharpen vague language suggesting that profits could be used to expand Medicaid.

As the legislation remained without the necessary votes, Republicans introduced a lottery bill and tried to pass it without Democrats’ support. The House Rules of Procedure Committee came up with a proposed calendar that included the bill and tried to establish a quick vote, but was later discarded.

House minority leader Anthony Daniels said the Democrats were not involved in the lottery bill talks, commenting, “We were not aware of these particular talks on our side of the aisle. That was something that was very disturbing.” . It was a surprise for us, as well as a surprise for most members of the chamber. “

Republicans who opposed the game were also outraged by the change, as Deputy Rich Wingo, R-Tuscaloosa, added that they were pressing for a quick vote on the bill that “no one has read”.

McCutcheon said there was an attempt by lawmakers to be supportive of voters’ desire to vote on a lottery bill.

Alabama is one of five states in the U.S. without a state lottery. Citizens of Yellowhammer State voted for the last time on the gambling issue in 1999, rejecting a lottery proposed by then Governor Don Siegelman.

Republican representative Chris Blackshear of the city of Phenix, who dealt with the Senate bill passed at the Alabama House, said that the Alabamians wanted to vote in a lottery, but admitted that drafting a bill proved to be difficult.

The original legislation, which would require the approval of state legislators and voters, included a state lottery to fund university scholarships and nine casinos located primarily on trails and existing locations owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

This Alabama bill faced opposition from a mix of Republicans who opposed legal gambling and lawmakers on the grounds that the bill had already decided winners and losers when naming the locations of the casinos. Some have also argued that it is unfair to exclude existing electronic bingo locations in Greene and Lowndes counties that operate under current constitutional amendments.