Alabama lawmakers will consider Poarch proposal and lottery going into the upcoming session

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MONTGOMERY, Ala (WRBL) By now you’ve probably seen the advertisements on TV about the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ plan to offer Alabama $1 billion.

Some lawmaker says this could be a way to pay for many of the state’s needs.

However, Gov. Kay Ivey said a lot of facts have to come to light due to the fact a gaming compact has never been done in the state. 

“I see their commercials, just like you do,” Ivey said.

Ivey went on to say that there are things the Alabama Legislature must address first.

“The legislature has got to address the lottery, it’s an on going question,” she said.

House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels called the billion-dollar plan, which would essentially give the tribe exclusive gaming rights in Alabama, an appealing topic.

“Whenever someone comes to you with a plan that talks about generating more revenue for the state of Alabama, you would be a fool to turn it down or look away,” Daniels said during a recent episode of “Capitol Journal” on Alabama Public Television.

Daniels said his party, the state Democratic Party, would like to see the money go towards healthcare.

“If we are going to expand Medicaid, if we are going to do the things that we need to do, then we can’t take anything off the table,” he said.

When it comes to health care in the state, advocates say thousands of Alabamans could benefit from Medicaid expansion.

“Expansion would provide affordable coverage that would straighten our workforce,” said Jim Carnes, policy director for Alabama Arise.

Carnes said that today, 200,000 Alabamians are working but can’t afford health insurance. He said he hopes lawmakers will expand Medicaid this session, which starts Feb. 4.

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