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.

Confirmed Cases: 14372

Reported Deaths: 693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds95924
Lauderdale71358
Madison69422
Scott63010
Neshoba58937
Jones56622
Forrest52338
DeSoto5036
Leake40012
Rankin3856
Holmes38524
Jackson30313
Copiah2904
Attala28415
Newton2564
Monroe25225
Leflore25130
Lincoln25024
Harrison2477
Lamar2315
Yazoo2274
Pearl River20631
Pike20311
Adams19015
Lowndes1899
Noxubee1736
Washington1667
Warren1597
Bolivar15411
Wayne1540
Oktibbeha15411
Jasper1524
Smith14511
Covington1431
Clarke13818
Kemper13611
Chickasaw13012
Lafayette1274
Lee1245
Carroll11511
Coahoma1144
Marion1149
Clay1084
Winston1051
Lawrence1021
Simpson950
Hancock8711
Wilkinson859
Yalobusha855
Grenada853
Itawamba847
Montgomery811
Union805
Sunflower783
Jefferson Davis772
Marshall773
Tate741
Tippah7111
Claiborne692
Panola643
Calhoun634
Webster611
Humphreys587
Amite561
Tunica533
Walthall520
Perry503
Prentiss423
Jefferson400
Choctaw342
Stone300
Pontotoc293
Tishomingo280
Franklin282
Tallahatchie261
Quitman250
George211
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene91
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16530

Reported Deaths: 591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2124112
Jefferson1712100
Montgomery154134
Tuscaloosa67813
Marshall6689
Lee53332
Franklin5147
Shelby48419
Tallapoosa41864
Butler39213
Chambers34924
Madison3184
Elmore3137
Walker2991
Baldwin2819
Etowah24411
Dallas2443
DeKalb2413
Morgan2311
Coffee2241
Lowndes22210
Sumter2136
Autauga2053
Houston1884
Bullock1833
Pike1790
Colbert1612
Russell1590
Marengo1556
Lauderdale1532
Calhoun1523
Hale1517
Choctaw1488
Wilcox1347
Barbour1321
Clarke1292
Randolph1257
Marion11911
St. Clair1161
Pickens1014
Talladega1003
Dale990
Chilton971
Cullman960
Greene924
Limestone870
Winston820
Covington771
Jackson752
Crenshaw722
Bibb711
Henry712
Macon712
Washington666
Blount581
Escambia493
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Conecuh351
Coosa351
Monroe352
Perry350
Cherokee342
Clay272
Lamar210
Fayette130
Cleburne131
Unassigned00
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