Rep. Jay Hughes
Rep. Jay Hughes, D-Oxford Credit: Gil Ford Photography

A House Democrat asked his peers Monday to revive the possibility of a lottery bill.

Rep. Jay Hughes, D-Oxford, announced on the floor Monday afternoon that he plans to file a suspension resolution to introduce a lottery bill to help the state’s roads, bridges and education.

“The deadlines have passed but we are recognizing as each day passes that we are in a more precarious financial situation as the budget goes,” Hughes said. The resolution would allow the House to suspend the rules and introduce a new bill.

The move comes after Gov. Phil Bryant told the Associated Press last week that he supports a renewed push for a lottery.

“When you’re looking at some of the challenges that we’re having and you see a revenue bill that would generate somewhere between 50 and 60 million dollars — just an estimate — I think that’s something that needs to be taken seriously by the members of both the House and the Senate,” Bryant told the AP.

Hughes said the resolution would designate 25 percent each to counties and municipalities, respectively, and the other half to education. The bill itself would be named for Rep. Alyce Clarke, D-Jackson, who has repeatedly pushed for a lottery in previous sessions.

When asked by a reporter if he believed the resolution would receive enough votes, he replied: “I think if prudence prevails, and we recognize that we are in a financial mess, this is one way to keep our money from going to Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana and staying here to try to do some good.”


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Kayleigh Skinner joined the Mississippi Today team in January 2017 as an education and legislative reporter and advanced to a senior staff member in her four years with the company. Before joining Mississippi Today, Kayleigh worked at The Hechinger Report, Chalkbeat Tennessee, and The Commercial Appeal. She has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC Newsday Radio to discuss her reporting.