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East Alabama Republicans consider proposal to expand gaming and create a state lottery

East Alabama Republicans consider proposal to expand gaming and create a state lottery


Local legislators will return next week to Montgomery to start work on a big slate of measures, including next year’s education and general budgets.

There is also Senate Majority Leader Del Marsh’s proposal to fund new scholarships at Alabama colleges and universities and beef up statewide broadband coverage by expanding gaming and creating a state lottery.

Debbie Wood (R-Valley) and Joe Lovvorn (R-Opelika) are all watching the proposal closely as it works through the Senate and the House.

“I think that, based upon whatever I’ve read so far, it has a great educational component to help individuals in our state pay for college," Wood said. "I think that is a big concern – it’s not just students, but families. Families used to be able to help their children, you know, to pay for their children to go to college, but it's become so costly and it's become a burden instead of a way of life. So, I think it's a really good deal.”

Lovvorn is a bit more wary than Wood, but he is interested in crafting some kind legislation to accomplish the goals laid out by the Marsh proposal, which would be subject to a state referendum in 2022 if passed.

“A lot of people in the district are interested in having a vote for a (state) lottery, but I haven’t had a lot of people who have contacted me interested in one for gaming,” Lovvorn said. “That does cloud the subject for me, and there’s a lot more questions than answers right now. … I look at it as my job to try to get the best package together for the people of Alabama that says they’re going to get to consider voting up or down on it.”

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