- AL Reading Service
Governor Robert Bentley says he will call a special session in order for lawmakers to pass a measure that would allow residents to vote on setting up a state lottery. In a video released by the governor’s office Wednesday, Bentley says money from a lottery would fund “essential state services” for children, the elderly, the mentally ill and law enforcement.
Bentley says he’ll offer more details later but does say his proposal will only include a lottery and not other forms of gambling. Discussion among lawmakers has included allowing video gambling at greyhound racetracks in Jefferson, Greene, Macon and Mobile counties.
Bentley also does not say when he’ll call the special session. Lawmakers would have to pass the proposed constitutional amendment on a lottery by August 24th in order for it to appear on the November ballot.
The governor and legislators have fought over Medicaid funding. Bentley and Alabama’s Medicaid commissioner say the program does not have enough money to maintain current services or to transition to a new organizational model. Lawmakers appropriated $85 million less than what the governor wanted during this year’s regular legislative session.
Alabama is one of six states that does not have a lottery. Voters turned down a proposed lottery to support education programs in 1999 backed by then-Governor Don Siegelman.