“I am asking that each legislator to allow the people back home the right to vote on a statewide lottery,” Bentley said. “I have faith in the people of this state to make the right and the best choice. I trust the voters, and our Legislature must do the same.”
Bentley said a lottery would raise approximately $225 million a year, money he says would help fund basic services “for our children, our elderly, those with mental illness and those who are in most need, as well as the men and women in law enforcement.”
“The time has come for us to find a permanent solution. This solution will provide funding that we can count on year after year, without ever having to raise your taxes or put one more Band-Aid on our state's money problems," Bentley said.
Bentley also specified that the lottery would not include any other form of gambling. He’s also calling for the creation of a statewide Lottery Commission to oversee lottery operations.
If the Legislature passes the lottery legislation, voters would cast ballots on a statewide referendum on a constitutional amendment in the November general election.
More details about the proposal are expected in coming weeks. No specific date for the special session was given in the Wednesday announcement.