- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Latest on lottery legislation in the Alabama Legislature (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has urged lawmakers to keep working on lottery legislation even though they missed a deadline to get the measure before voters in November.

Bentley said Tuesday that the bill was not dead. He urged lawmakers to pass the legislation and let voters decide if they want to establish a state lottery.

Procedural issues blocked a House committee from voting on the lottery bill Tuesday. That dashed hopes of getting the measure approved in time for it to go on the Nov. 8 ballot. Bentley said a special election could be called.

Bentley is seeking the first statewide vote on a lottery since Alabamians voted down a lottery in 1999.

The governor called lawmakers into special session to consider a lottery bill and other means to boost funding for the state’s Medicaid program.

Bentley said he wanted legislators to think of the 1 million poor and disabled people in the state who depend on Medicaid for health care.

The House tourism committee will meet Wednesday on the bill.


4:40 p.m.

A proposed state lottery will not go before voters in November.

Lottery opponents in the House of Representatives on Tuesday used a procedural rule to block a committee from considering the bill.

The bill needed to clear committee by Tuesday, and win final approval on Wednesday, in order to get before voters in November.

The House of Representatives could not muster the four-fifths vote needed to allow the committee to meet while lawmakers were in session.

Rep. Alan Harper, the bill’s sponsor, said opponents were using procedure to prevent people from voting on a lottery.

Republican Rep. Ken Johnson, who made the motion for the roll call vote, said House members needed to be deliberative with such major legislation.

The bill is still alive in the special session, but the referendum would have to be held later.


9 a.m.

A lottery bill is getting its first review in the Alabama House of Representatives.

The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee will hold a public hearing on the bill Tuesday afternoon.

Gov. Robert Bentley is seeking the first statewide vote on a lottery since Alabamians voted down a lottery in 1999.

Three-fifths of legislators and a majority of voters have to approve the change to the Alabama Constitution to allow gambling.

The Alabama Senate approved the bill on a narrow vote last week, and supporters are trying to keep it on the legislative fast track.

Sen. Jim McClendon, the bill’s sponsor, said he hopes the committee will approve the bill so the full House can vote on it Wednesday.

The committee meets after the House convenes at 3 p.m.

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