The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 21, 2014

Lottery raises its head in Legislature

The state House Democratic Caucus has unveiled its agenda and, to no one’s surprise, a state lottery referendum is at the top of the list. 

The Democrats also seek a 6 percent raise for state employees and retirees and a tax hike to help fund Medicaid as well as pay for the raise for state employees.

It has been nearly 15 years since Alabamians had a chance to vote on a state lottery, which they voted down 54.2 percent to 45.8 percent. 

But times have changed since that special election in 1999 — an off year for elections, by the way, which may have kept the vote low (a little more than 1.2 million votes were cast.)

In that time, we have seen our dollars go to Tennessee, Georgia and Florida as Alabamians play the lotteries and help the education systems in those states.

We hope the Legislature supports the measure and allows a referendum of the people.

It’s time we keep our dollars home and support a lottery to help education here in Alabama.