Mississippi legalized the Lottery

The Mississippi House passed a bill to create a state lottery, spending proceeds on state highways for at least 10 years. The Senate voted 30-20 to approve Senate Bill 2001. The measure moves to the House for more debate.

Mississippi is one of six states without a lottery, and Gov. Phil Bryant had been pushing lawmakers for more than a year to create one. Supporters estimate a lottery could generate tens of millions of dollars annually, and Bryant says he wants the money to help pay for repairs to crumbling highways and bridges.

“This is a historic day in Mississippi. Mississippi lawmakers rose to the occasion”, – said Bryant on Twitter.

Legislative leaders say the bill will provide $110 million annually to cities and counties in 2022 when fully phased in. Counties could spend the money only on roads and bridges, while cities could also spend money on water and sewer work.

The measure also would authorize the state to borrow up to $300 million mostly to be spent through an emergency bridge repair fund, earmarks proceeds from sports betting to state highways for 10 years, and imposes additional yearly taxes of $75 on hybrid vehicles and $150 on electric vehicles.

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