JACKSON, Miss.- Recently, Gov. Phil Bryant re-opened the conversation on a statewide lottery.
The last governor to support the notion was Gov. Ray Mabus in 1990, which actually put his career to an end when he was not re-elected. Since then it has come up on occasion within the legislature but has always been veto’d or ignored.
However, last week, Gov. Bryant said in a statement: “I would be open to a general discussion regarding a statewide lottery. However, I would be opposed to this particular revenue being dedicated to specific expenses, such as public education. Our children’s future should not be left to a game of chance.”
It wasn’t even a year ago that Bryant said he would not support a lottery, and that it was a “silly notion.”
According to local media there was research done as far back as 1989 on the impact a state lottery would have. Originally, the PEER Committee told lawmakers that a lottery would only net $10 to $45 million a year, but then changed that statement a few years later in 1993 and estimated $50.7 million a year after payouts and expenses.
Other lawmakers such as Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Phillip Gunn said they do not support a lottery because they do not see the data to prove it would bring a positive impact. Reeves went on to say if he could see a real economic gain, he would consider supporting the notion.