BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) Some Alabama Legislators hope an increased focus on school security will put a state lottery on the fast track.
Right now Alabama doesn't have a lottery in place. Those wanting to play have to drive across state lines to Florida. Since recent shootings in schools across the country, schools want more security, but cities simply don't have the money to pay for it.
House Democrats want to put an armed police officer in every school in Alabama. A statewide lottery would require a statewide vote.
A vote failed back in 1999, so how about now? Local 15 News asked if it would be difficult to get a yes this time.
"Not really. No I don't really think so. I don't think it will," said Ike Wilson of Summerdale.
"I don't know if it will but I think we really need one because everybody takes their money to Mississippi and Florida," said Jerry Breeden of Loxley.
It's way early in the process as Alabama lawmakers are just beginning to debate the lottery issue. But now with the measure aimed at preventing school shootings, the money has to come from somewhere.
"I do think it would be a good idea to use the money to do that just because of all the violent crimes that have been happening," said Rio Plystak of Pensacola.
In Baldwin County alone the estimated cost of putting armed officers at all the schools here is $3.5 million. There no doubt paying for school security has become an issue.
"Each school will have a figure and there will be dollars associated with that school to improve it," said Kevin Levy, a former Secret Service Agent and a volunteer on the Baldwin County School Security Task Force.
When the lottery failed in 1999 the revenue was estimated at $150 million a year. A lottery in Alabama today could bring in more than that. Scholarships for high school graduates would also be part of the lottery proposal.