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May 3, 1999     (512) 463-0300

AUSTIN - The state lottery may have a bigger payoff if legislation passed today becomes law. The Senate voted to remove the limit on the amount of money the lottery can award as prizes in a year. The Lottery Commission will be responsible for adjusting the prize payout. Victoria Senator Ken Armbrister is the Senate sponsor for the Committee Substitute for House Bill (CSHB) 844. "I don't play it. My wife does every single week, but I don't. I don't feel qualified to set that level. I think those people that we hire with the state agency do after consultation with the comptrollers office," said Armbrister.

The Lottery Commission will have to decrease its advertising budget as the average prize payout increases. The prize cap was put on during the last legislative session. Armbrister says that the idea of making more money out of a smaller pool was misguided, "Lottery doesn't operate that way, Vegas doesn't make their money that way. Bingo doesn't make their money that way they make their money out of enhancement of the pool."

Another proposal passed today, the Committee Substitute for Senate Bill (CSSB) 1323, would give cities and counties the power to reject plans for new subdivisions unless a source of groundwater is assured. Bill sponsor Senator Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio says they should make sure they have the water resources available to fit the demands before developing, especially in rural areas.

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow, May 4, at 10:00 a.m.

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