Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday signed an executive order creating a study group on gambling policy. Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran and former surgeon general Dr. Regina Benjamin were named as participants, according to a statement from Ivey’s office.
The Study Group is tasked with gathering detailed information to allow the governor, the Legislature, and the citizens of our state to make an informed decision on gaming expansion in Alabama.
“I am committed to, once and for all, getting the facts so that the people of Alabama can make an informed decision on what has been a hotly debated topic for many years,” Ivey said in a statement. “Without a doubt, there will be ramifications if we eventually expand gaming options in our state just as there are costs associated with doing nothing.”
The Study Group is made up of 12 individuals representing a cross-section of Alabama interests, including legal scholars, law enforcement, public servants from state and local levels, clergy and successful members of the business community.
In addition to Benjamin and Cochran, the members include: Chairman Todd Strange, A.R. Rey Almodovar, Dr. Deborah Barnhart, Walter Ball of Mobile, Young Boozer, Elizabeth Huntley, Carl Jamison, Justice Jim Main, Phillip Rawls and Bishop B. Mike Watson.
“I’m extremely grateful that some of our most distinguished citizens – from a diverse background including all regions of our state – have agreed to help gather this information,” Ivey said in the statement. “The specific data they gather will hopefully lead us all to making a better, more informed decision.
“Ultimately, I believe the final say belongs to the people of Alabama. As their governor, I want them to be fully informed of all the facts so that, together, we can make the best decision possible,” she added.
All members of the Study Group agreed to sign a pledge adhering to the Alabama Ethics Law and shall serve without compensation or reimbursement for their expenses. They will formally sign the pledge at their first public meeting.
The Study Group will submit a final report to the governor, the Legislature and the people of Alabama no later than December 31, 2020.
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