Alabama House Committee Approves Lottery Bill –
By Glynn Wilson –
Sorry y’all. I can’t resist the irony, especially in the wake of the governor’s sex scandal.
Just as stories were making the rounds that the Alabama House Economic Development and Tourism committee voted to approve a lottery bill, a day late to be in time for the November 8 ballot, another story was gaining even more traction around social media.
It turns out Montgomery was just named the most sexually diseased city in the country, based on 2013 federal data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study includes reported cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia, while herpes is not included. There were 4,388 reported cases of STDs in Montgomery that year, and the city had 1,899 diseases per 100,000 people. St. Louis, Missouri, came in second, with 1,867 reported cases per 100,000.
So y’all be careful now who you pick up in them bars around town, where the connected go to meet and cheat.
Meanwhile, according to the South Union Street blog connected to the Gannett paper, the Montgomery Advertiser, the suspense over the lottery bill deadline continues to tease.
As we and everybody else reported Tuesday, any hope of a lottery vote making it onto the November 8 ballot supposedly went down in flames, the House committee met Wednesday anyway and voted 8-3 to approve the amendment to the state constitution and send it for consideration to the full House. It would allow voters to decide whether the state should have a lottery.
The full House could debate the bill Thursday. While some House members say it’s too late to make the ballot, others are now indicating there may be a way.
Springville Senator Jim McClendon, the bill’s sponsor, is saying there might still be a chance. If not, a special election could be set with a floor amendment.
Before approving the bill, it had to be amended to reinsert language inadvertantly dropped awarding 10 percent of the lottery proceeds to education. The other 90 percent would go to straight to the “beleaguered General Fund,” according to the blog, with $100 million of that going to the Medicaid health care program.
While the bill does not include information on how much revenue it would generate, Governor Robert Bentley’s staff projects it would generate $225 million a year.
While McClendon says his motivation all along has been to simply let the people vote on a lottery, calling it “dumb” to continue watching Alabamians travel to Florida, Georgia and Tennessee to spend their money, some astute political observers say the governor and some Republicans are looking to scapgoat the public for their political, economic and legislative failures.
While the public debate continued along the same lines of gamesmanship as last week, with opponents on the right and left calling it a “tax on the poor,” the real story is a battle between two pools of political money and votes, not just moral or economic issues.
It’s the same old story. Gambling interests verses the collection plate, all the while covering up for the serious problems of real people all over the state suffering.
As our previous original reporting has shown, about 1,223 people a year will die if they cannot obtain the health care coverage Medicaid would provide.
Because, you know, we’ve all gotta die sometime, right?
© 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.