By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Pat Dye, the legendary football coach, and President of the Alabama Jobs Foundation says, the State needs a long-term solution to budget woes, not short-term fixes.
“We need real long-term solutions for our budget crisis, not short term fixes, cuts to essential State services, and hundreds of millions in new taxes that the people of Alabama cannot afford,” said Dye.
According to coach Dye, “The real solution is right before our eyes, and yet the Alabama Legislature refuses to see: a vote on gaming and a lottery.”
Dye says it is wrong to raises taxes before we give the people of Alabama the right to vote on gaming and a lottery.
A lottery bill introduced by Sen. Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville) failed to gain traction in committee. Sen. Trip Pitman (R-Montrose) introduced an amendment that would prohibit gaming, was carried over by Sanford.
“A lottery and gaming will create $400 million in new revenue, $1.2 billion in economic impact, and create more than 11,000 new jobs, a job total equal to the Alabama auto industry,” said Dye.
According to Senate insiders, there is a small group who are resisting, citing moral objections. However, gambling is already alive and prospering in the State, under the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) who have built a gaming empire, and are wanting to control all gambling in the State. Even the most recalcitrant members of that group can’t ignore that gaming is here, unregulated, and untaxed.
Dye said, “Job creation is the key to Alabama’s economic future. The Alabama Jobs Foundation will not support a lottery referendum because a lottery alone will not create the jobs, or economic impact we need to fix our long term budget problems.”
Several polls have shown that the voters prefer gaming to raising taxes.