Lottery members say task is to gather facts

Only one House member on the committee Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, formed to study the lottery, voted during the 2017 legislative session in favor of an amendment trying to enact the lottery.

In addition, when announcing members of the committee earlier this month, Gunn said, “The purpose of the study group is to gather information to show that the lottery is not the windfall that all its supporters claim it will be.”

Such comments and committee appointments, perhaps are what prompted Gov. Phil Bryant to say, “It is sort of an anti-lottery committee. You all get together and tell us why a lottery won’t work, and I’m the speaker and I want you to do that. I appreciate the speaker’s position on this and we’re continuing to look at the numbers.”

But members of the committee say their charge from the speaker is not to make a recommendation on the lottery, but to gather information and compile a report. Whether that information will result in the possible enactment of a lottery by the Legislature at a later date remains to be seen.

Daily Journal