The Alabama Legislature is in chaos and needs our prayers! The deadline for getting a bill to the Secretary of State in order to have a lottery vote on the November ballot was Wednesday night, August 24, 2016, at midnight, a deadline that has past without the lottery bill being voted out of the House. However, pro-gambling forces are now arguing that this is not true and the courts may become involved in forcing the Secretary of State to get the constitutional amendment on the November ballot.
If that does not work, the Legislature could come back for another special session and change the law to allow the lottery amendment on the November ballot. Such action would only require a simple majority vote in each house and the signature of the Governor. All of this is why it is important to stop SB3 (the Governor’s lottery bill) in the House of Representatives TODAY!
Please contact your House Member and urge a NO vote on SB3! Even if you have already contacted him/her, please keep the pressure on. Call your friends and neighbors (who oppose the lottery) and enlist them to contact their House Member. Use social media to educate people on the detrimental impact of a state-sponsored lottery. The Alabama Policy Institute and ALCAP have been circulating articles and video clips on social media for you to share. Also, you can find information to use in your personal posts at www.ALCAP.com and www.StopPredatoryGambling.org.
IMPORTANT: The word “lottery” is not defined in SB3 and since the Alabama Supreme Court has, in past case law, defined a lottery as “any game of chance,” if the people of Alabama vote to legalize a lottery, the Alabama Legislature can come back and pass enabling legislation that includes casino gambling. This fact is why we believe the gambling bosses from the dog tracks in Alabama are driving this constitutional amendment. They stand to make millions of dollars and they will stop at nothing to deceive the people of Alabama into giving them what they want.
If SB3 passes the House, it will have to go back to the Senate for concurrence, since it has already been amended. Then, we may need to start contacting State Senators again in order to urge a NO CONCURRENCE vote. If they do not concur, then the bill will go to a Conference Committee made up of members of the House and Senate and a compromise bill (which could include anything they want) could be sent back to the House and Senate for a concurrence vote. There is still time to stop this push for gambling expansion in Alabama, but it requires the citizens of Alabama to be engaged and communicating with legislators and educating themselves, their friends and their neighbors.
Please do whatever you can to help, but most of all, PRAY for God to intervene!