State Senator Jim McClendon, a Republican from Springville, has proposed a bill that would allow Alabamians to vote on whether or not they want a state lottery.
McClendon said Tuesday he had been spurred to action by people in his district.
“Everywhere I go, people are saying, ‘We’ve got our tickets’ or ‘We’re on the way,’,” McClendon said in a press conference at the State House in Montgomery. “They are driving to surrounding states. They are leaving our money, and they cannot understand why Alabama does not offer what 44 states in America offer.”
McClendon says his bill is simple. If passed, it would allow Alabamians to vote — yes or no — on a constitutional amendment that would set up a state lottery. McClendon’s proposal does not mention how or where the money from the lottery would be used.
House Minority Leader Craig Ford, a Gadsden Democrat, also filed a bill in support of the lottery. His bill would send the proceeds to fund scholarships at state colleges.
In the past, Alabama voters and lawmakers have rejected attempts to green light a lottery.
McClendon said he was not prompted to action by Wednesday’s $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot.