Two amendments that would create state lotteries were slipped into Senate bills that were passed by the Mississippi House of Representatives yesterday. One amendment creates a state lottery and directs the proceeds into a scholarship fund for college students. Who could be against education, right? The other amendment mandates half of the funds (after expenses) are spent on education while the other half is spent on "infrastructure improvements". Will the Senate concur or will the bill go to conference?
Amendment 1 TO Amendment 1 of Senate Bill #2524 creates a lottery. Senator Buck Clarke submitted the amendment. Section 3 of the amendment states:
SECTION 3. (1) There is created a state lottery to be known as the "Mississippi Lottery for Education," to be administered by the Mississippi Gaming Commission. The commission shall:...
f) Prescribe guidelines regarding the conduct of specific lottery games including, but not limited to:
(i) The types of games to be conducted;
(ii) The sale price of tickets;
(iii) The number and amount of prizes;
(iv) The method and location of selecting or validating winning tickets;
(v) The frequency and means of conducting drawings which must be open to the public;
(vi) The manner of payment of prizes;
(vii) The frequency of games and drawings; and
(viii)Any other matters necessary.. for the efficient & effective operation of lottery games
(g) Enter into contracts with distributors for the distribution of lottery tickets to retailers;
(h) Take any action necessary for the implementation and administration of this section...
SECTION 4.(1) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be designated as the "Mississippi Hope Scholarship Trust Fund," into which must be deposited the funds as provided in Section 2(3)(d) of this act. All investment earnings or interest earned on amounts in the fund must be deposited to the credit of the fund. Amounts remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year may not lapse into the State General Fund.
Senate Bill #2541 will legalize fantasy sports betting in Mississippi. Representative Tommy Reynolds submitted a scrawled, handwritten amendment 1 to amendment 1. It states it will add this section to line 128:
The Mississippi Gaming Commission is authorized to establish a lottery in Mississippi. 1/2 of the proceeds to go for public education needs in Mississippi and 1/2 to go to city and county road improvements.Will Mississippi get a lottery? Stay tuned.