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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: 143879

Reported Deaths: 3676
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
Lafayette313347
Washington3088106
Lamar281849
Bolivar237883
Oktibbeha237760
Lowndes228362
Neshoba2171113
Panola211047
Marshall207247
Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
Monroe189577
Sunflower189554
Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
Copiah158840
Yazoo150638
Scott149929
Coahoma147342
Itawamba145533
Alcorn143724
Simpson143553
Pearl River142967
Prentiss139526
Grenada136344
Adams135948
Leake131643
Holmes124461
George121623
Tippah120930
Covington117234
Winston115824
Wayne115722
Hancock114137
Marion110746
Attala106233
Tishomingo106042
Newton102829
Chickasaw102332
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
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