Lawmakers set to begin special session on lottery Monday in Montgomery


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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers return to Montgomery on Monday to begin a special session focused on the possibility of a state lottery.

Gov. Robert Bentley told The Associated Press that he is "reasonably optimistic" about getting a lottery bill approved.

The governor calls a lottery the only option left to provide more money to the state's cash-strapped Medicaid program.

But some key lawmakers say a lottery faces tough odds of winning approval.

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Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh gave the bill a slightly better than 50-50 chance of winning approval. He said it would be a close vote in the Senate.

There are two lottery bills up for debate. One would authorize a lottery. Another would also allow electronic lottery machines at state dog tracks.

Alabama is one of six states without a lottery.