Time Runs Out for Alabama Lottery, Casino Bill, No New Deals Reached

A bill to allow a lottery and casino gambling in Alabama is dead for this legislative session. The bill didn’t get a floor vote Thursday, and legislative rules make it difficult to pass controversial Senate bills in the final four days of the 30-day session.
That means supporters will have to try again later if they want to enact the bill. Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh had proposed allowing Alabamians to vote on creating a state lottery and allowing casinos at state dog tracks.

Marsh says he believes legislators are interested in continuing the conversation on gambling as a revenue source. Deep budget cuts and a special session appear inevitable after lawmakers failed to reach a revenue agreement.

Senators adjourned on Thursday before voting on a bill to transfer $100 million from the Education Trust Fund to the more cash-strapped General Fund. Senate President Marsh says Thursday was “frustrating.” Marsh says the Senate is not willing to pass new taxes, and a special session is expected.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard urged the Alabama Senate earlier to approve an austere budget before addressing any short- or long-term revenue bills. The House passed the state’s general fund budget with $200 million in cuts earlier this month.
Governor Robert Bentley says he will veto any budget that includes the severe cuts.

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