BIRMINGHAM (TAB) — Gov. Robert Bentley’s lottery bill, SB 3, is still moving through the House of Representatives, although it has missed the Aug. 24 deadline to make it onto the Nov. 8 ballot.
SB 3 was passed through the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee this afternoon, so it’s on to the House floor tomorrow for debate and a possible vote.
This afternoon Sen. Jim McClendon, the bill’s sponsor, and Sen. Del Marsh both claimed they had until Friday to get the measure on the Nov. 8 ballot, but Secretary of State John H. Merrill said he was confident the deadline was today. Merrill said unless a change is made to the state law that sets the deadline for getting amendments on the ballot, it will not be voted on in November.
Merrill reached out to Attorney General Luther Strange this evening for his opinion of the law “to make sure no stone is left unturned.” Strange had not responded as of press time.
The bill has language that would allow the lottery to go on the November 2018 ballot if needed or legislators could call a special election — a move that would garner less voters and cost at least $3 million, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
The bill is an attempt to fund the state’s $85 million Medicaid shortfall by creating a statewide and Powerball lottery, a move that Bentley claims would generate $225 million in revenue.
To contact your representative, go to capwiz.com.