Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant gave lawmakers a last-minute prodding on Thursday to enact a lottery bill, which he said will generate the state multi-millions in revenue annually.
The Ledger-Enquirer reported that the pro-lottery governor made a last ditch attempt to convince members of the House and the Senate to enact a lottery as tax collections continue to fall short of expectations.
Earlier this week, the cash-strapped state made its third round of spending cuts since the budget year started July 1.
“When you’re looking at some of the challenges that we’re having and you see a revenue bill that would generate somewhere between 50 and 60 million dollars — just an estimate — I think that’s something that needs to be taken seriously by the members of both the House and the Senate,” Bryant said, according to the news website.
The Mississippi governor has been very vocal in supporting a lottery in his jurisdiction. Bryant even supported Mississippi residents driving to Arkansas to buy lottery tickets in his one of his speeches in January.
Mississippi’s lottery proposals died in the House earlier this month but could be revived in the Senate in the next few weeks. The three-month legislative session is about to start and is scheduled to end April 2.
“When I was lieutenant governor and president of the Senate, if I had a majority of my members who wanted to vote, I thought it was incumbent upon me to let them have that opportunity to exercise that right,” said Bryant, who served one term as lieutenant governor before starting his current job in 2014. “It may not be just popular with some members, but I think the majority wants to have an opportunity to vote on a state lottery, and we’d certainly look at that with great interest.”