Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has signed a lottery bill into law.
The Governor’s approval means that Wyoming can either form its own state lottery or enter into a multi-state lottery on July first.
A C-E-O and a nine member board will oversee the lottery. Mead said last week that he was weighing the pros and cons of the lottery, but ultimately decided to sign the bill to keep Wyoming residents from driving to other states to purchase lottery tickets. Mead says he wants to keep those dollars in Wyoming.
After rejecting the Senate version of the bill that would allow Wyoming to join a multi-state lottery, a conference committee has reached a compromise that supporters hope will get the bill to the governor.
The House wants all revenue from the lottery to go to local government, but the Senate wants the money to go into a permanent account that’s used for schools.
The compromise says that 6-million dollars goes to local government, while any money above that amount would go into the schools account.
The State Senate has approved a bill that allows Wyoming to enter into a multi-state lottery. Senators amended to move money that would be generated from the lottery from cities and counties to a fund that benefits schools. Opponents of the lottery say it will hurt the poor. But Senator Hank Coe says there is a lot of support for the measure.
“The citizens of this state want this bill. I saw a poll in the last 12 months, 62 or 63% of the people in that poll support this lottery,” says Coe.
The Wyoming Senate is close to approving a bill that would allow the state to enter into a multi-state lottery. The Senate spent the second day of debate on the bill clarifying language to make sure that the lottery is run properly and that the state is protected. The Senate has not spent as much time on the moral issues that were the focus in the House. Senator Michael Von Flatern of Gillette says the Senate noted that those concerns were already aired in the House.
Despite concerns that a lottery would be a regressive tax, the State House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow Wyoming to join a multi-state Powerball Lottery.
It establishes a quasi-corporation that would be tasked with making the lottery profitable. Several lawmakers near border states say that Wyoming is losing money as residents cross state lines to buy lottery tickets.