MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
Alabama House Minority Leader Craig Ford said Thursday this year may be the best chance the legislature has ever had of passing gaming legislation.
The governor's Advisory Council on Gaming met Tuesday in their second-to-last meeting before lawmakers begin their regular session.
The council will present recommendations to the legislature when it returns, where Ford and the rest of the council have a job to do.
”We need to spread the word and educate our members across party lines," Ford said. "This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue about increasing revenue for the people of the state of Alabama. To me, I look at it as an issue of not raising taxes. This is a voluntary tax. If they don’t want to play it, don’t do it.”
Ford said to pass a gaming bill a special session may be needed to isolate the issue. He believes any gaming bill should be included if the governor does call a special session to focus on the state's prison plan.
A special session focused on passing a lottery failed last year.
“The problem the last special session is that we did not bring everybody to the table. We have to bring everybody to the table," Ford explained. "We have to work out other people’s constitutional amendments, and you can’t exclude anyone. Let entrepreneurship take its work. The strong will survive and the weak will close.”
The council will meet at least one more time before presenting their recommendation to the entire legislature in February.