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House passes amended lottery bill

The special session of the Mississippi Legislature rolls on.

The House has passed an amended version of the lottery bill, and it will now head back to the Senate for discussion. 

Yesterday, the Senate passed the “Mississippi Lottery Act”, and the bill would create the ability for Mississippi to collect revenue from a state lottery to aid Mississippi’s infrastructure.

Related: Lottery bill passes through Senate

Among the details included in the bill, a private corporation would be established to oversee the lottery, rather than the state gaming commission. The corporation would then be made up of five members appointed by the Governor. 

Originally, the corporation would’ve been exempt from the ‘Public Records Act’, but language in the bill has been changed. This comes after Governor Bryant voiced his opinion on the matter, and said that their records and meetings should be open.

Before this change was made, several lawmakers voiced their fear that the corporation would be left open to corruption if it is not monitored closely. 

The Governor stated that the lottery could bring up to $80 million to Mississippi when it’s fully implemented with those dollars being put toward roads and bridges. Included in the new version of the bill is a clause that states that if proceeds exceed $80 million, the remaining funds will be put toward education. 

Related: Parties disagree on infrastructure approach

Among other changes, the bill has now been renamed the “Alyce G. Clarke Lottery Act.” Clarke, a longtime Rep. from Jackson, has been a vocal advocate for a state lottery for years. 

The new version of the bill passed through the House by a 70-43 margin. The Senate must now debate the bill with the new changes. 

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