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Mississippi lottery bill advances, but more work remains

Representatives during a recess in the special session Thursday (Craig Ford)

Mississippi could be inching closer to creating a lottery and leaving the list of six states that don't offer the game of chance.

Posted: Aug 25, 2018 12:01 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi could be inching closer to creating a lottery and leaving the list of six states that don't offer the game of chance.

The Mississippi House voted 71-43 Friday to pass a lottery bill . That happened a day after the state Senate voted 30-20 for its own version of the same bill.

However, work remains.

The House made several changes to the bill, including requiring that a lottery corporation abide by longstanding Open Meetings and Public Records laws. When the bill passed the Senate Thursday, it said a lottery corporation would be exempt from the government sunshine laws. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant said he wanted the openness.

"Of course it needs to be open records and open meetings," Bryant told reporters Friday outside the Senate chamber.

The House and Senate must agree on the identical bill before it could go to the governor, who is pushing lawmakers to create a lottery to generate money for highways and bridges. The Senate could either accept the House changes, or the two chambers could negotiate a final version.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says the states currently without a lottery are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah.

Several House Democrats complained Friday that there was too little debate on the substance of the lottery bill in the Republican-controlled chamber. Among them was Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville, who said he wanted a deeper debate but he believes a majority of people in Mississippi favor a lottery.

"It's tainted and nasty. I'm still going to vote yes," Holland said of the bill.

Democratic Rep. Alyce Clarke of Jackson has pushed for more than a decade to create a lottery.

"I know we're doing the right thing," Clarke said.

In the special session that started Thursday, Bryant is asking legislators to put hundreds of millions more dollars into state and local roads and bridges. One bill being considered would send cities and counties a portion of money that the state collects from sales tax on catalog and online sales. Proceeds from a lottery would also initially go into transportation.

The Senate on Friday voted 48-3 to pass a bill to share taxes on internet sales with cities and counties. The vote came after a Senate committee made some minor changes to House Bill 1 , meant to help improve road and bridge conditions after Gov. Phil Bryant was forced to close a number of county bridges. The measure returns to the House for representatives to agree to changes or seek negotiations with the Senate.

Legislative leaders say the bill will provide $110 million annually to cities and counties in 2022 when fully phased in. Counties could spend the money only on roads and bridges, while cities could also spend money on water and sewer work.

The measure also would authorize the state to borrow up to $300 million mostly to be spent through an emergency bridge repair fund, earmarks proceeds from sports betting to state highways for 10 years, and imposes additional yearly taxes of $75 on hybrid vehicles and $150 on electric vehicles.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 147382

Reported Deaths: 3763
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
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