Mississippi House again seeks lottery despite dim prospects

MGN Online

A longtime proponent of a lottery for Mississippi tried again Thursday to prod legislative leaders to consider one, although a symbolic vote supporting the concept could amount to little.

Posted: Mar 9, 2018 5:25 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A longtime proponent of a lottery for Mississippi tried again Thursday to prod legislative leaders to consider one, although a symbolic vote supporting the concept could amount to little.

Rep. Alyce Clarke on Thursday amended Senate Bill 2976, the budget for the state Gaming Commission, to say the agency wouldn't get any money in the budget year starting July 1 until Mississippi enacts a lottery to benefit schools, roads and cities.

The Gaming Commission regulates casinos and charitable gambling in the state.

Clarke, a Jackson Democrat, said the move is meant to send a message to Republican leaders that most lawmakers support a lottery. GOP leaders have been lukewarm at best to a lottery, saying they have concerns over promoting gambling and how the game might affect other tax collections.

"I just want to make sure that when this bill goes on to the Senate, the senators know we want this," Clarke said.

The amendment was adopted on an unrecorded voice vote, and the bill then passed 88-26. The measure is headed to a conference between the House and Senate to work out differences in the two chambers' version of the bill. Negotiators could strip out the demand for lottery during those talks, although opponents argued the move could leave the commission without any money to enforce gambling laws.

"If we vote for this, there won't be any regulation of gaming at all," said Rep. Andy Gipson, a Braxton Republican.

Twice in 2016, the House amended a bill to demand a lottery, but those efforts came to nothing. But neither House Speaker Philip Gunn nor Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has emerged as a champion for the issue, despite strong support among some legislators. With Gov. Phil Bryant shifting into active support for a lottery in recent years, Gunn and Reeves have said they wouldn't necessarily block the measure. But bills to create a lottery have continued to die in the chambers they lead.

Lottery supporters, however, streamed to the microphone in the House to state their support Thursday.

"How long do we have to suffer over bringing voluntary taxation, since you people won't vote for a tax?" asked Rep. Steve Holland, a Plantersville Democrat.

Other, though, urged patience.

"Personally, I do support the lottery," said Rep. Casey Eure, a Biloxi Republican. "I believe before the term is up we can see a lottery."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 13731

Reported Deaths: 652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds89824
Lauderdale68056
Madison65321
Scott59210
Neshoba51431
Jones49215
Forrest48635
DeSoto4746
Leake38810
Holmes36923
Rankin3566
Jackson29613
Copiah2844
Attala27314
Monroe24624
Lincoln24520
Leflore24126
Harrison2376
Newton2273
Lamar2205
Yazoo2192
Pearl River20527
Pike20011
Adams18815
Noxubee1656
Lowndes1647
Warren1547
Washington1535
Jasper1453
Bolivar14111
Oktibbeha13910
Covington1311
Clarke13116
Smith13110
Kemper12710
Chickasaw12712
Wayne1250
Lafayette1243
Carroll11310
Marion1108
Lee1085
Coahoma1063
Clay993
Winston981
Lawrence941
Hancock8811
Itawamba857
Simpson850
Wilkinson849
Yalobusha845
Montgomery801
Sunflower793
Grenada752
Union725
Marshall713
Jefferson Davis712
Tippah7011
Panola622
Calhoun604
Tate591
Claiborne582
Humphreys537
Amite521
Walthall490
Perry492
Tunica483
Jefferson400
Prentiss393
Choctaw322
Stone300
Webster281
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George201
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 15650

Reported Deaths: 580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2033111
Jefferson163091
Montgomery127433
Marshall6509
Tuscaloosa55812
Lee51032
Franklin4676
Shelby44719
Tallapoosa40063
Butler35912
Chambers33724
Madison3024
Baldwin2749
Elmore2707
Walker2391
Etowah23811
DeKalb2263
Dallas2063
Coffee2061
Lowndes19310
Sumter1936
Morgan1761
Houston1724
Autauga1683
Calhoun1463
Pike1450
Choctaw1444
Colbert1422
Marengo1416
Russell1370
Lauderdale1352
Bullock1333
Hale1324
Randolph1247
Wilcox1187
Marion11410
Barbour1131
Clarke1092
St. Clair1041
Pickens934
Greene914
Talladega912
Chilton871
Dale850
Cullman780
Limestone770
Jackson712
Winston670
Covington671
Washington655
Henry642
Macon622
Crenshaw602
Bibb591
Blount491
Lawrence430
Escambia433
Perry350
Geneva350
Coosa341
Monroe332
Cherokee332
Conecuh281
Clay272
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
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