AUSTIN (April 23, 2013)--The Texas House delivered a surprising defeat Tuesday to a bill reauthorizing the Texas Lottery Commission, casting doubt on the future of the entire lottery statewide, but then later voted to reauthorize the commission, reversing the first vote.
What was supposed to have been a routine bill sparked lengthy and impassioned debate Tuesday before the first vote, as several lawmakers argued the lottery was as a de-facto tax on poor people.
The House then voted 82-64 to defeat the reauthorization measure.
State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, pointed out that the state budget the Legislature is now considering includes more than $2 billion for public education from the lottery.
"Those dollars are gone at this moment,” he said.
After the vote the House went on a lunch break, but the bill's sponsor, State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas noted that it could vote to reconsider the measure, and it did.