/Lottery passes Senate despite rushed bill ‘thoroughly’ confusing lawmakers

Lottery passes Senate despite rushed bill ‘thoroughly’ confusing lawmakers

A dense, 135-page bill was presented to the vast majority of senators by Gov. Just hours before Phil Bryant was asked to vote on the bill in committee, Bryant’s office had already received it. Many senators claimed that they received the bill via email for the first time on Wednesday night at 9:59 p.m. Six of the fourteen members of the committee couldn’t identify the specifics of Thursday’s lottery bill five minutes after they voted to approve it. Despite the confusion, the lottery proposal was approved by 30-20 votes. Senator Willie Simmons (D-Cleveland) cosponsored the bill and supported it on the Senate floor. Simmons was unable to answer simple questions from senators several times. Some questions were not answered by Simmons, including the following: * How will the lottery agency get created? * Will the board appointed by the governor have to establish a new corporation to manage the lottery? Did other lottery systems in other states be consulted when drafting the lottery proposal. Is the state of Mississippi required to provide seed funding for the establishment of the corporation? * Must the lottery corporation be located in the state of Mississippi to operate? Simmons referred several times to the governor’s offices for specific questions during the floor debate. Simmons stated that he was fully processing all of the comments made by members. He also acknowledged that there were legitimate concerns at the end of the floor debate, around two hours in. “None of our family has ever been to the lottery. I have seen cases where we created a situation in which we can fix these things later after we pass the bill. “We can come back in January to fix it.” The bill establishes a quasi government agency, which would be overseen and controlled by a five-member governor’s appointed board. The governor would veto the appointment of a president to the agency. They would also hire a private company for oversight of the game’s implementation. The state’s Public Records Act would not apply to the lottery board and agency. This was a point of contention that was raised by several Democratic senators and Republican senators. This legislation would allow most lottery variations to be played, including Powerball or scratch-off tickets. The state would ban the operation of video lottery games. In reference to the structure of the agency, Sen. David Parker (R-Olive Branch) said: “I think that we’re all completely confused about this.” D-Jackson Sen. David Blount said, “You got that bill at lunch today. They refused to give you access for 24 hours. You cannot go to supper. Tonight is the last day you can leave. We will pass it today. We refuse to wait 24 hour and defeat all amendments. Is that why your ran for the Senate?” Sen. John Horhn (D-Jackson) said that there were enough holes to allow a Mack truck to pass through these bills. “Who wrote this bill?” asked Sen. Gary Jackson (R-French Camp). “Have y’ever heard that a camel is a committee trying to build a horse?” said Sen. Briggs Hopson (R-Vicksburg). “I don’t want to be asked why you didn’t do that or that and we don’t have the answers right now.” Sen. Hob Bryan (D-Amory) stated that there is no way that we can understand the lottery mechanics, even if you are convinced that you want to play a lottery. “There are many issues.” The bill will now be moved to the House. It will be voted on Friday morning.