By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A plan to sell scratch-off lottery tickets to raise money for the state’s Office of Outdoor Recreation was defeated Tuesday by the Wyoming House of Representatives.
Representatives voted against introducing House Bill 8, a measure designed to finance improvements at outdoor recreation areas around the state.
Opponents successfully argued that Wyoming should not be expanding its gambling options and should look elsewhere to pay for the improvements.
“I believe scratch-off tickets would be another way we would pull money out of a depleted economy,” said Rep. Jeremy Haroldson, R-Wheatland. “I believe there are options for outdoor recreation funding that would not require us to add another form of gambling in the state.”
The bill was proposed as a way to raise up to $700,000 a year for the Office of Outdoor Recreation, which would use the money to help local outdoor collaboratives pay for improvements such as outhouses and trash cans at outdoor recreation areas.
Rep. Sandy Newsome, R-Cody, said the money would help provide amenities for the many visitors who take advantage of the state’s outdoor recreation activities.
“Outdoor recreation is important to our citizens and our visitors,” she said. “The challenge becomes building and maintaining the infrastructure that is essential to the outdoor experience.”
As a bill not related to the budget, the measure required approval from two-thirds of the House to be introduced for further consideration. It fell short of the required two-thirds on a vote of 32-28.