Lottery Discussions May Resume

Montgomery, AL – With the regular session of the Alabama legislature set to begin next week, some lawmakers project that lottery proposals could resurface. Although a statewide lottery was rejected by voters five years ago, lawmakers are scrambling to find enough money to balance the state's two main budgets. Supporters say a lottery offers a way to raise at least some of the money needed to adequately fund education and other state services. State Representative Randy Hinshaw of Huntsville says he doesn't believe a lottery is the best option, but he says it would generate money for schools. However, opponents say a lottery would not be a significant help in balancing the state's budgets. They also say the lottery is an immoral tax on the poor. John Giles is president of the Christian Coalition in Alabama. He says a lottery would open the door to casino gambling. He also says the move would not make fiscal sense for the state.