BIRMINGHAM (Maggie Walsh) — “The lottery bill for the 2016 special session is dead,” announced the measure’s sponsor, Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, on Aug. 26 after the Senate voted against agreeing with the House changes to the bill (SB3).
The House changes included defining the lottery as paper tickets, an attempt to prohibit electronic lottery terminals, and earmarking 1 percent of lottery proceeds to rural fire departments.
It was the narrowed definition of the lottery that drove the 7–23 vote that signaled the demise of the bill, several legislators said.
Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, said after the two votes, “I’ve been here a while, but you are thoroughly confusing me now.”
And the rest of Alabama was right there with him.
The lottery bill’s ride through the special session was riddled with unexpected twists and turns, including confusion over when the deadline was to get the bill on the Nov. 8 ballot.
The recurring chant in the State House on Aug. 26 from legislators was “I’ve never seen anything like this,” referring to the wild ride of SB3.
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