UPDATE: 4:24 p.m.
The Texas House reauthorizes the lottery commission, reversing previous defeat.
Just a few hours ago, several lawmakers said the lottery was a “de-facto tax on poor people.” Houston Representative Sylvester Turner (D) says the move could have killed the lottery.
The reply from the speaker’s desk was quote, “if the commission goes down then the lottery goes down. It would affect the budget.”
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas House has delivered a surprising defeat to a bill reauthorizing the Texas Lottery Commission — casting doubt on the entire lottery statewide.
What was supposed to be a routine bill sparked lengthy and impassioned debate Tuesday, with several lawmakers saying the lottery was as a de-facto tax on poor people.
The House then voted 82-64 to defeat the measure.
Houston Democratic Rep. Sylvester Turner asked if the vote would effectively kill the Texas lottery. The reply from the speaker’s desk came: “If the commission goes down, then the lottery goes down. It would affect the budget.”
Turner pointed out that the state budget currently being considered by the Legislature relies on $2.2 billion for public education from the lottery.
Turner said: “Those dollars are gone at this moment.”