The Texas House reauthorized the Texas Lottery Commission, just a few hours after a majority of members voted not to Tuesday afternoon.
The House voted 82-64 early Tuesday to defeat House Bill 2197, which would have discontinued the functions of the commission for the next two years.
Several lawmakers initially had said they were concerned that the lottery took money out of the pockets of low-income citizens who don't have the extra money to spend.
"There are people on the floor of the Texas House who think it is not right to allow people to participate in games, and spend money that they don't have," said State Representative Sylvester Turner (D-Houston). " It's almost like a parent telling their child 'I know what's best for you'."
But just hours after the bill was defeated, The House decided to reverse its decision and reinstate the commission for another two years.
Word spread quickly after The House's initial decision that deauthorizing the commission would subsequently take billions away from public education funding, as the State Budget currently before the legislature allocates $2.2 billion in public education funding to be derived directly from lottery proceeds over the next two years.
"And then in addition to that it would take money away from the veterans, because some of the veterans funding is derived from the lottery proceeds," said Rep. Turner. "Thirdly, the people in the state of Texas voted the lottery in, so it's kind of difficult to think that members of the Texas House would vote to override the will and the wishes of voters themselves."
There is no word as to why The House decided to reverse its' decision so quickly, but it does mean that public schools can continue to depend on the lottery funding for now.
By: Marissa A. Wagner
Tuesday, April 23, 2013