State Politics


A lawsuit challenging how the lottery was created hinges on a state constitution provision that says "revenue bills" should be passed three times on three different days. The state says the lottery doesn't fall under that requirement because no one will be forced to play the games, so the lottery is not a tax.

WHAT HAPPENED: The House passed its lottery bill with two votes on April 6. The Senate passed its lottery bill with two votes on Aug. 30.

The state budget, passed earlier in August, enacted changes to the lottery bills that are part of the final manifestation of the lottery itself.

THE CONSTITUTION: A section titled "Revenue bills" says: "No law shall be enacted to raise money on the credit of the State, or to pledge the faith of the State directly or indirectly for the payment of any debt, or to impose any tax upon the people of the State, or to allow the counties, cities, or towns to do so, unless the bill for the purpose shall have been read three several times in each house of the General Assembly and passed three several readings, which readings shall have been on three different days, and shall have been agreed to by each house respectively, and unless the yeas and nays on the second and third readings of the bill shall have been entered on the journal."

A section titled, "Drawing public money," says in part: "No money shall be drawn from the State treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law, and an accurate account of the receipts and expenditures of State funds shall be published annually."