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Senate advances Mississippi lottery bill

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi senators are advancing a bill that would create a state lottery and earmark money for 10 years to be spent by the state Transportation Department.

The Senate Highways and Transportation Committee approved Senate Bill 2001 Thursday on a split voice vote. The bill moves to the full Senate for more debate.

Committee Chairman Willie Simmons, a Cleveland Democrat, says the lottery is projected to provide about $40 million to the state in its first year and about $80 million in later years.

The bill creates a Mississippi Lottery Corp., which would be governed by a five-member board appointed by the governor. The board would hire a president of the corporation, subject to the governor’s veto.

The committee rejected amendments, including one to make the lottery corporation subject to the state public records act.