It was almost a scratch-off day for the Texas Lottery.
The House defeated legislation to reauthorize the Lottery Commission, which in effect, would have killed it, then rethought that decision. What was supposed to be a routine bill sparked lengthy and impassioned debate with several lawmakers who said the lottery is a de-facto tax on poor people. The house initally voted 82-64 to defeat the measure. A second vote then came through, reversing the ruling.
"A lot of times, people will say, 'Let's bring some more information out', and of course that's what we do down here," Lubbock State Representative John Frullo said. "We talk about things, we work through things, we present information, then we vote on it. So, a lot of times, you will vote for something to be brought to the floor even though you have no intention of voting on it, but it's giving you the right to vote."
The tenor of the debate changed when Representative Sylvester Turner of Houston pointed out that $2.2 billion of lottery earnings are earmarked for education, which would have waylaid the budget if the commission was abolished.