Will Alabama state legislators talk lottery this session?

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The debate about a future lottery in Alabama continues to be on many minds as the MegaMillions and Powerball jackpots climb.

But Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R- Monrovia) doesn't think that the Legislature will talk much about it this upcoming session, which begins on Tuesday.

"I don't think the lottery will come up," he said in an interview with WHNT News 19. Later, he added, "I don't think you're going to see it come up in an election year."

He said it's a complicated issue that often, encompasses more than just a simple lottery.

"It goes deeper than just a religious belief of gambling one way or the other," he said. "It goes into the bingo machines, the counties that have local legislation that allow those to be there. The dog track issue. All of this plays in. It's more complicated than taking a simple vote on the lottery. I would like to see us get back to a lottery issue first, before we muddy the water if you will with all these other things out there."

Some Alabamians we spoke with say they hope someone introduces a lottery bill anyway.

"I definitely would love to have a lottery in Alabama," said Jeff Wilson, who would like to see the money come in to support education in the state. "The longer you wait, the more money is going outside of Alabama every week. That's hurting us in the long run," he explained.

Others were on the fence.

Austin Dutton said he would like the Legislature to discuss it for the sake of more open conversation.

"If you're going to pay for it and play it, then you might as well play it in your own state," he commented.

But Ali Duttton said she would not support a lottery in the state.

"I think there's other beneficial ways we can bring into Alabama without doing a lottery," she added. "I would not be for the lottery. I just don't see the need and I kind of think it's a waste of money."

While the lottery is not a discussion that's likely this session, Speaker McCutcheon said he knows it's far from finished.

"I think we're going to address the lottery in the future because I think it is a revenue issue," he explained. "The discussion will not go away."