Sen. Jim McClendon Introduces a Lottery to Fund Education & Medicaid

By Jim McClendon

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – At a news conference today, Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) presented details of a lottery proposal he will sponsor in the August 15th Special Session of the Alabama Legislature.

According to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Office, McClendon’s lottery plan will raise $427 million annually for the state. The proposal will solve Medicaid’s $85 million budget shortfall for 2017 and create $100 million annually in additional funds for Alabama’s schools.

“It is time to let the people vote on a lottery. For thousands of families and children, the Medicaid budget shortfall is a personal crisis that we must solve now,” McClendon said. “This lottery proposal will resolve the Medicaid problem and inject $100 million annually in new funding for our classrooms.”

McClendon’s lottery plan would authorize Governor Robert Bentley to negotiate a compact with the Poarch Creek Indians, allow electronic lottery terminals in Birmingham, Mobile, Macon County, and Greene County, and create a bond issue based on expected revenue from the lottery. Proceeds from the bond issue, estimated to be between $75-85 million, will solve Medicaid’s 2017 budget crisis.

“Every year, thousands of Alabamians drive to neighboring states to play lotteries. That is money that should stay right here in our own state, to fund Alabama’s hospitals and schools,” McClendon declared. “And let me dispel a persistent myth: creating a lottery will not open the door to casino gaming. There is not one single instance in the United States where creating a lottery opened the door to legalizing gambling.”

If the Legislature passes McClendon’s lottery proposal by August 24th, the plan would go before a vote of the people on the November 8th ballot.

Senator Jim McClendon represents District 11 in the Alabama Senate, which includes all or parts of Talladega, St. Clair, and Shelby counties. You can reach his Senate office at 334-242-7898 or email him at [email protected]