Alabama Senator Proposes Amendment to Allow a State Lottery
Alabama is one of the only U.S. states that does not have a lottery, but that could finally change if one senator’s proposal is passed during an upcoming legislative session.
According to AL.com, Republican Sen. Jim McClendon of Springville recently announced his proposal to allow a lottery in the state of Alabama. The bill is simply calling for an up-and-down vote regarding the legality of a lottery, with details to be filled in at a later date.
“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to allow the Legislature to pass general laws to implement a lottery to be operated on behalf and for the benefit of the state,” wrote McClendon in his three-page bill.
McClendon seems to already have some support from his peers on the issue, including Rep. Alan Harper, who has said he would sponsor the bill once it reaches the House of Representatives.
Democratic leaders in Alabama have also shown support for a lottery. Rep. Craig Ford has said that he would sponsor a bill that allows a statewide lottery, with proceeds helping to fund scholarships to Alabama universities.
“I believe there’s more support now than ever before for a lottery, but we have to make sure we do it the right way,” Ford said in a news release.
The groundswell of support from Alabamians for a state lottery is likely a product of the recent $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot. Lottery fever swept the nation in the days leading up to the drawing, and many Alabama residents are upset that they didn’t have a chance at the historic prize.
The Powerball annuity payout schedule consists of 30 annual payments that increase over time, but winners also have the option to accept a lower lump sum amount.
According to Business Insider, that’s exactly what John and Lisa Robinson of Mumford, TN decided to do. The lucky Powerball winners claimed a lump sum of $327 million after embarking on a quick media tour to notify the public of their good fortune.
Alabamians who fantasize about winning the lottery may get their chance, depending on how the bill is received in the House of Representatives. McClendon added that his constituents are growing tired of driving to neighboring states just to purchase lottery tickets.
“They cannot understand why Alabama doesn’t offer what 44 other states in America offer, and that is the opportunity to have your own lottery,” McClendon said. “And this bill will give them the chance to express themselves.”
The next legislative sessions begins on Feb. 2. McClendon is hoping that his proposal will be on the ballot for voters in November.