Category: Legislation

The Truth About Gambling That You Will Not Hear From The Lottery Proponents

2019 Alabama Lottery Bill

By Danny Hubbard (Researcher, Author and Christian Radio Co-Host)

Here we go again! We fought off gambling years ago and it continues to raise its’ ugly head again. This time the bill was introduced by Senator Jim McClendon, who happens to be one of the state senators who represents a portion of my county, Talladega County. I have to say, “shame on you Senator McClendon” and any politician who supports the Lottery.

I was told that the people in certain districts want the Lottery. People in certain districts may want prostitution to become legal, but that does not mean our elected officials should ask for a referendum to legalize prostitution. Is there no moral fiber left in America? Alabama?

You will not hear the Lottery proponents talk about what is within this document, because the facts in this document do not paint a pretty picture of the affects the Lottery WILL have on Alabamians, if it passes.

Alabama is considered one of the top 2 conservative states in America and 3rd most Evangelical state in the union. Let us show Alabama, America and the World, that we will maintain these leading stats by voting against the Lottery.

Alabama is also ranked 4th as the poorest state in America. It has been proven in virtually every state that has legalized the Lottery, the majority of participants in the Lottery are the lower income minorities who buy most of the tickets. To vote for the Lottery for the sake of taxes, economic growth, satisfying the government spending, etc. is to say to these lower income families: “We really do not care how it affects your family because we can help solve our budget crisis in state government with the Lottery income”. Let me put it another way. Would you be willing to tell your family, “Family, as the head of this household, I have decided to spend most of our income on Lottery tickets to win $30 or more at a winning ratio of 1:2944”. (stoppredatorygambling.org-Lottery is a tax). You might say, “Has Dad lost his marbles?” But that is exactly what happens with many thousands of families across America who spend most of their money on lottery tickets which is needed for food, clothing, shoes, etc..

Here are some quick facts about the effects of gambling. Playing the lottery could lead to compulsive gambling. You will not become a gambling addict if you never gamble. (Casino Watch.com)

  •  60% of those addicted to gambling will commit crimes[1]
  • 20% of gambling addicts commit or attempt suicide[2]
  • 63% of gambling addicts are alcoholics[3]
  • 20% of addicted gamblers have filed for bankruptcy[4]
  • 50% will abuse spouses and children[5]
  • 20% of the homeless are gambling addicts[6]
  • 50% of gambling addicts will divorce[7]
  • The average (gambling) debt is between $63,000 and $110,000[8]

Here are some more facts about gambling and the affects it has on families and societies as a whole. This is not to say that everyone who buys a lottery ticket will fall into one of these categories, but the possibility of someone who begins to play the lottery has the potential to become addicted to it.

  • “The rate of attempted suicide among compulsive gamblers is 200 times the national average.”[9]
  • “More than 53 percent reported having been divorced in the National Opinion Research Center survey. Multiple failed marriages also are higher among gamblers than the population in general.”[10]
  • “Problem gamblers are 10 times more likely to be involved in a hospital emergency room [for treatment] than non-gamblers.”[11]
  • “Research shows that if you have a gambling problem you will likely have an alcohol problem as well, and a drug problem.”[12]
  • “for every dollar raised for the state by a lottery an additional 52 cents must be taken in to pay the expenses of raising that dollar”.[13]
  • “Nearly all of the lottery gambling was paid for by spending less on non-gambling items, including clothing, food, and rent. These numbers are the average over all low income households.[14]
  • Lotteries are exempt from the Federal Trade Commission truth-in-advertising laws. Instead, the states are self-regulating, allowing lotteries to get away with misleading and predatory advertising far beyond what private businesses are allowed. [15]
  • The poorest third of households buy half of all lotto tickets, Duke University study in the 1980s.[16]
  • Most lottery tickets are bought in places with more minorities. Nationwide, African Americans spend five times more on lottery tickets than white people.[17]

Will the lottery bring in revenue to the state? Sure, it will. However, how many families are worth breaking up, how many deaths are you willing to sacrifice? Are you willing to sacrifice your family and subject them to the potential disasters mentioned above? If so, you do not have much respect nor regard for your family!

The gambling society will have millions of dollars to put into advertising the Lottery on TV, Radio and the Printed Press. They will paint the pretty picture of how rich you can get by buying a lottery ticket and how it will turn your life around. There is some truth in this last statement, for it could very well turn your life around and upside down.

Why would anyone want to subject their family to the potential problems that gambling could bring about within their lives and the lives of their loved ones? I hope you will call your state senators, state house representatives, friends and family and tell them to vote NO to the lottery in Alabama. We have provided you with FACTS about the lottery and gambling. We hope you will say NO to the Lottery and help us fight against the evils that the lottery brings to our lives.

P.S. For those of you who believe the Bible is truly God’s Word: 

Proverbs 13:11 “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” In other words, God blesses the labor of our hands but will cause vain ways of obtaining wealth to become less and become a loss. Gambling is pure vanity and the Lottery is gambling.

[1] California Council on Problem Gambling

[2] National Council on Problem Gambling

[3] California Council on Problem Gambling

[4] Prof. John Warren Kindt Bankruptcy Developments Journal, volume 19, No.1

[5] National Research Council, The Guardian

[6] Atlantic City Rescue Mission and Association of Gospel Rescue Missions in Kansas

[7] National Opinion Research Center survey

[8] CT Department of Mental Health

[9] 9/6/99 The Advocate

[10] Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc., 5/22/06

[11] www.ctnow.com, 10/19/04

[12] MIDWEST CONFERENCE ON PROBLEM GAMBLING & SUBSTANCE ABUSE

[13] NASPL sales data

[14] National Bureau of Economic Research

[15] Report to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission

[16] Duke University study in the 1980s

[17] VOX on the Lottery 1/13/16

THE GAS TAX IS MORE THAN 10 CENTS!

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Eagle Forum always advocates budget reforms rather than tax increases.   A gas tax increase is especially burdensome on those with low or fixed incomes, but it raises the cost of living for everyone in our state.

The bill sponsors promised during floor procedures to allow amendments that could lighten the tax burden to be brought up and debated during the regular session which resumes next week.  We will be monitoring these possible changes and provide timely updates. 
 

IT WILL BE PHASED IN OVER A THREE-YEAR PERIOD

Beginning on October 1st, 2019, consumers will begin paying an extra $0.06/gallon.  The next year it will increase by $0.02/gallon and the following year another $0.02/gallon.  By 2023 consumers will be paying a total of $0.10/gallon tax.

ADDITIONAL TAXES YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF (“INDEXING”)

Beginning on October 1, 2023, and on June 1 every other year thereafter an additional $0.01 tax per gallon will be added IF the National Highway Construction Cost Index (NHCCI) goes up.  If the Index stays the same the $0.01 tax will not be added that year.  If the Index goes down there is a possibility that the tax could decrease by $0.01.  Historical data shows the Index usually increases unless there is a recession.   

NEW ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEES YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle: $100.00

Battery electric vehicle: $200. 00 

Every fourth year beginning July 1, 2023, there will be a $3.00 increase in these fees.

HOW THE MONEY WILL BE DISTRIBUTED

Money collected from this new tax will be distributed as follows: Alabama Department of Transportation: 66.67%, Counties: 25%, Municipalities 8.33%

SEE HOW YOUR LEGISLATORS VOTED:

Alabama House of Representatives  Scroll down to “Roll 18” on the right side; click that to see how the Representatives voted.

Alabama Senate  Scroll down to “Roll 28” on the right side; click that to see how the Senate voted. 
 
We encourage the legislature to find ways to cut spending on non-essential programs to counter this tax increase.  We encourage Alabama taxpayers to contact their legislators with recommendations for cuts. 

Urgent Action Needed Now to Stop SB280: More than Half of Alabama Counties will Lose the Right to Free Elections for Superintendents of Education

SB280 sponsored by Senator Brewbaker seeks to eliminate local control of County Superintendent of Education elections in more than half the state. The map shows each county in blue that currently elects their Superintendent of Education, but if SB280 is passed each of these counties will be forced to appoint. SB280 is expected to come up for a vote before Thursday in the House. This legislation will have two horrible impacts on local education. First SB280 will force over fifty percent of the Alabama counties to stop holding free elections.

Counties that hold elections for County Superintendent of Education will be forced to have the local board of education hand pick the County Superintendent. SB280 removes current rights from local education leaders and parents who live in the county. That means these Alabama Counties with Elected School Board Superintendents will be forced to stop conducting elections all together for County Superintendent: Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Conecuh, Coosa, DeKalb, Dale, Elmore, Fayette, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair, Tallapoosa, Walker, Washington, and Winston.

The second, critical impact of the SB280 is that it also removes local education rights from other counties in Alabama. Counties which currently have an appointed County Superintendent will not be able to hold elections. SB280 is modeled after legislation being pushed by special interests in other states to centralize education and reduce local control. SB280 centralizes power in the hands of a few and harms our communities.

All legislators should oppose SB280 since it completely removes your right to hold a local election for County Superintendent of Education, and SB280 prevents other districts from holding elections in the future. Contact your State Representative today. To find contact information for your Rep. go here ! Calls are needed now from individuals in each county! All will lose control of local election process in their county.

Defending the Classroom

By Deborah Love, Executive Director, Eagle Forum of Alabama and Shanna Chamblee, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, Alabama Gun Rights Inc.

The events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have left students, parents and an entire nation in agony. Since the Columbine massacre, our nation has been horribly awakened to a new normal – a world in which these massacres are not all that irregular. Each time one occurs, people are motivated to offer idyllic solutions so that such an incident may not happen again.

The truth of the matter is…more

 

 

 

Seven Reasons why we need more citizen involvement and not a Constitutional Convention Resolution

Eagle Forum of Alabama opposes the recently introduced resolution HJR23 which pushes a Constitutional Convention as a way to obtain term limits for members of Congress. Term Limits via an Article V Constitutional Convention is a bad idea on multiple counts. We don’t need yet another call for an Article V Constitutional Convention, which according to former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger and other Constitutional scholars, cannot be limited to any one issue and could become a Pandora’s Box.

There are many problems with HJR23.

1. We already have ‘term limits’, they are called “elections”, every two, four, and six years. Just because voters are derelict in their duty, does not mean we must change our process.
2. ‘Artificial’ term limits means giving the bureaucracy a LOT more power, in that institutional memory and experience is no longer available.
3. Voters are prohibited from voting for the person they believe is best for that office.
4. In the last term any official serves, without re-election on the horizon, there is no longer the accountability that was once there.
5. Term limits can prevent legislators from gaining the experience they need to become skilled lawmakers.
6. Term limits would give lobbyists more influence. 
In his presidential farewell address in 1989, President Reagan rightly pointed out that term limits are “a preemption of the people’s right to vote for whomever they want as many times as they want.”
7. Here’s a look at congressional tenure by the numbers: 9.1 Years of average length of service in the United States House of Representatives as of January 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service. Average length of service in the U.S. Senate as of January 2013 is 10.2 years.

The way to effectively reform Congress lies in supporting and voting for candidates who uphold the belief in a stronger local government rather than a stronger national government. Term limits will not achieve the reform that is needed in our federal government because term limits will NOT RESTRAIN the power of our federal government. The solution is for citizens to get involved with the political process at all levels. As Justice Antonin Scalia stated on May 11, 2015: “A Constitutional Convention is a horrible idea. This is not a good century to write a Constitution.”

Urgent: act ASAP to move Common Core Repeal Bill to Senate Floor

Urgent:  act ASAP to move Common Core Repeal Bill to Senate Floor
 

The bill to Repeal and Replace Common Core SB415 (Sen. Harri Anne Smith) passed the Senate Education Committee today with a 4-1 vote.  (YES: Sen. Brewbaker, Bussman, McLendon, Pittman.  NO: Sen. Figures)

SB415 will replace common core (cc) standards (aka Alabama College and Career Ready Standards) in Math and English Language Arts (including history, social studies, science, & technical subjects) with proven, superior standards based on the best of the best pre-Common Core Standards.

TODAY please contact each member of the Senate Rules Committee (below) and ask them to place SB415 number one on the Senate Special Order Calendar so that the Senate will vote on it!  Also contact your senator. Let’s show the Senate that the polls are right: over 70% of Alabamians want common core repealed.

Talking points for your contacts:

  • What is more basic than educating Alabama students in Math and English?  Yet we dropped from 25thand rising in 2011 to dead last in 2015.
  • Alabama is dead last in Math and ELA.  See here.
  • Protect all children from “irreversible damage” due to 4 years of CC Math documented by California data under Phil Daro CC Math.  Alabama is ending its 4th year now!   THIS TRAVESTY MUST STOP. See pre-eminent math standards writer Dr. James Milgram letter.
  • Experimenting with education in Alabama is failing our students.  That failure correlates directly with implementation of common core.  What higher priority can there be than to correct this problem?
  • The Alabama Senate must send a message to the State School Board to fast track replacement of common core standards with what was working in Alabama and nationwide prior to common core.
  • Alabama being dead last demands drastic, urgent action. Denial won’t fix the demonstrated problem.
  • The Senate must insist that we repeal common core and replace it with proven,superior traditional standards.
  • Parents, students and educators deserve better than a regimen imposed upon our children through the ordered Obama administration incentives and regulations.
  • Please instruct and enable educators in Alabama to restore sound education practices.
  • Alabama’s economic success and growth demands repeal of common core.

Senate Rules Committee:
Sen. Jabo Waggoner  (334)242-7892  [email protected]
Sen. Billy Beasley (334)242-7868 [email protected]
Sen. Dick Brewbaker (334)242-7895 [email protected]
Sen. Gerald Dial (334)242-7874  [email protected]
Sen. Vivian Figures (334)242-7871  [email protected]
Sen. Rusty Glover (334)242-7886  [email protected]
Sen. Bill Hightower (334)242-7882  [email protected]
Sen. Jimmy Holley (334)242-7845
Sen. Jim McClendon (334)242-7898 [email protected]
Sen. Arthur Orr (334)242-7891
Sen. Trip Pittman (334) 7897  [email protected]
Sen. Greg Reed (334)242-7894  [email protected]
Sen. Paul Sanford (334)242-7867 [email protected]
Sen. Clay Scofield (334)242-7876  [email protected]
Sen Rodger Smitherman (334)242-7870 [email protected]
Sen. Phil Williams (334)242-7857  [email protected]

For documentation see alabamaeagle.org or call (205)879-7096.

Imperative immediate call to Gov. Ivey

Please contact Governor Ivey ASAP and ask her to protect the freedom of religion in Alabama, her churches and their members. Ask her to sign The Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act (HB24/SB145) without any executive amendment and without delay!  To contact the Governor’s office, call: 1-334-242-7100 AND email by going to: governor.Alabama.gov/contact.

This act protects church and religious operated state-licensed adoption agencies from being required to make same sex adoption placements in violation of their religious beliefs based on scriptural marriage. With the 2015 Obergefell SCOTUS opinion legalizing same sex marriage, regulations are expected requiring same sex marriage placements. Already in Massachusetts, Illinois, Washington, DC and San Francisco, Christian adoption agencies have closed.

Adoption is an important alternative to abortion. We cannot afford the closing down of 30% of Alabama adoptions done by the affected agencies.

The Human Rights campaign, a heavily financed LGBTQ lobbying organization, abortion interests and others have opposed these bills, but they passed both houses with large margins. Now, we are told that Google, AT&T and Apple are pressuring Governor Ivey to add the amendment.  Please let our new Governor know that we need her to stand with the Alabama Christian Community and sign the act.

This issue is about more than protecting innocent life; it is about the very essence of religious freedom. In committee, Christians were said to be intolerant and discriminatory. Our religious beliefs were expected to be secondary to the desires of homosexuals.

This is our first confrontation in Alabama with the gay rights agenda. If we do not stand firm now, we will face increased opposition.  Those organizations that oppose us because of what we believe, will coalesce; and we will find we have little or no voice in protecting our values. Large corporations, gay rights advocates, abortion interests, gambling interests, and you name it, will be telling us how to live. Our sincerely held religious beliefs dictate against what they want.  We must act now to protect our rights for ourselves and our posterity.  We must not allow those who advocate unhealthy lifestyles to discriminate against us and against Christian ministries, nor advance their agenda at the expense of vulnerable youth and the whole of society.

We are indebted to Eric Johnston of Southeast Law Institute for much of the foregoing explanation.
 

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All Pro-life Bills Pass Senate

Wonderful news!  All three pro-life bills that we have supported this legislative session passed the Senate today.  They now head to the Governor’s desk for signature.

1.  The Healthcare Rights of Conscience bill (religious freedom for healthcare providers who object to abortion, cloning, stem-cell research) by Rep. Arnold Mooney/Sen. Paul Sanford

2.  Ban on Assisted Suicide bill by Representative Mack Butler/Senator Phil Williams

3.  Right to Life Constitutional Amendment (a constitutional amendment to go on the ballot declaring that abortion is not a protected right in Alabama)  by Rep. Matt Fridy/Sen. Phil

Williams

Thank you to everyone who turned out to lobby for life, and especially those legislators that voted to protect it!

 

Stop Trojan Horse SJR 87

Urgent:  Please ask your Senator and House member to stop SJR87.

RE: SJR 87 asking for term limits via Constitutional Convention

In recognition of the fact that an Article V Convention is not a solution, but rather a Trojan Horse, both Maryland and New Mexico rescinded all previous calls for a Con Con during the first week of April, 2017.

Many well-intentioned conservatives cling to a Convention as a solution to problems our country faces.  However, numerous extremely radical, progressive and socialist organizations are also fighting for an Article V Convention with George Soros’ money and massive media outreach.  Constitutional scholars* (see below) and political experience confirm that a Constitutional Convention once convened would be a law unto itself.  Therefore, it could well put at risk some of our most cherished freedoms and even our entire Constitution.

  • COS advocates cover the full spectrum of ideologies and include hundreds of organizations in the Move to Amend coalition like Peace groups (Watch out Second Amendment.), communist fronts, Sierra Club, Code Pink, Occupy groups, and Wolf-PAC, which wants to publicly finance elections. Some toy with ideas like direct democracy and the popular vote, while others never publicly state what they would seek from a convention.  All that these groups have been able to agree upon so far is the desire to hold a COS.
  • A COS cannot be limited, since there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution and no law to restrict its purpose, procedures, agenda, duration or election of delegates.
  • There is no way to assure that COS delegates would obey any restrictions placed on them by the states. They may not have to run for re-election and thus would be free from accountability to the public.
  • Term limits in states such as Missouri have given unelected bureaucrats the upper hand with procedural and institutional knowledge.  In Alabama, state employees lobbying the Alabama legislature already seem disproportionate to the private sector.  How much worse will it be to give the lifetime bureaucrats in DC even more power and control over a frequently changing Congress?
  • There is no stopgap for preventing ill-conceived constitutional changes from being ratified by 38 or more states. Modern communications capability gives moneyed special interests the ability to whip the populace up with emotional rhetoric to get them to vote for ideas that test well in focus groups rather than those that have survived the test of time.
  • We have for so long neglected to truly educate our children on the Foundational events and documents that created the United States of America that many now believe the Constitution and Bill of Rights, rather than being documents based on the careful study of thousands of years of human behavior, are outdated and irrelevant. It would be easy to stir up those so uneducated into a popular frenzy of support for any number of amendments that would fundamentally change our country.

Let’s limit terms as needed at the ballot box and strive harder to observe the Constitution that we have.   PLEASE OPPOSE SJR87.

Following are links for sound arguments against the various forms of legislation related to a Constitutional Convention.  They are short and logical.  Hope you find them helpful in speaking with your state legislators.

Links for arguments COS against, CFA WP, Term Limits, and general talking points.

Blessings,

Eunie Smith

*At a minimum…the Federal Judiciary, including The Supreme Court, will have to resolve the inevitable disputes over which branch and level of government may be entrusted to decide each of the many questions left open by Article V.”
— Laurence H. Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School  (affirmed by email 4/7/2017)

“…there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention.  The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda.  Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey.  After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda.  The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the Confederation Congress ‘for the sole and express purpose’.”  Chief Justice Warren Burger in letter to Phyllis Schlafly.