Lawmakers urge Alabama lottery to help solve budget woes

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – It’s been over 15 years since Alabama voters rejected a state lottery. But an Alabama lawmaker believes it’s time to revisit the idea.

House Minority Leader Craig Ford introduced a bill Thursday for a statewide lottery vote. Ford called a lottery a “voluntary tax” that people don’t have to pay. Proceeds would be steered to the cash-strapped Medicaid program.

The Democrat from Gadsden has picked up the support of an influential Republican.

House Ways and Means General Fund Chairman Steve Clouse signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill. Clouse said a lottery is an option that should be on the table to try to help the state’s perpetually ailing General Fund.

State agencies are facing large cuts unless lawmakers find more revenue for the budget.

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