Pricey Harrison

Monday, August 29, 2005

NC Lottery Still One Vote Short Of Passing

After another week of negotiations and vote counting, the Senate still appears to be one vote short of passing a lottery bill with 24 Democratic yes votes and 26 no votes, which include all 21 Senate Republicans and 5 Democrats. However, supporters are still hopeful that the lottery can be passed soon so that the issue isn’t put off until next May when legislators return to Raleigh. The House passed a lottery bill in April, and the state budget passed two weeks ago made changes to the way future lottery proceeds could be spent on early childhood education, school construction, and college scholarships.

Supporters and education groups across the state are trying to find at least one additional senator who will vote for the lottery and have been lobbying them hard. Some parliamentary maneuvering late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning nearly resulted in a lottery vote when Sen. Garwood (R-Wilkes) was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, leaving the chamber potentially tied, with the Lieutenant Governor poised to break the tie. Sen. Basnight thought better of it, and should be commended for such. Senators who are being targeted are: Martin Nesbitt (D-Buncombe), Janet Cowell (D-Wake), Dan Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg), Charlie Albertson (D-Duplin), Ellie Kinnaird (D-Orange), Harry Brown (R-Onslow), John Garwood (R-Wilkes) and Richard Stevens (R-Wake).

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