The Senate gets another chance at passing a bill to legalize raffles to raise money for charity. The bill “passed” to third reading in the Senate at the end of last week– but only by an 18-14 vote. Many senators in the chamber did not vote on the issue. Since it is a constitutional change, it needs 30 votes to pass. That means the measure will come up again this week,where it may face more debate.
The state Senate spent most of last week arguing over the ills of gambling — and the question of whether legalizing charitable raffles would open the door to excess or abuse. Not-for profits, schools and churches throughout the state hold prize raffles, but those are not legal. Senator Glenn McConnell (R-Chas.) wants to allow such groups to raise money this way.
Last week in the Senate, McConnell argued that government is being hypocritical in stopping these raffles:
Senator David Thomas of Greenville filibustered the measure last week, putting up a long list of amendments to stymie the bill—and held up debate with the help of Senators like Lee Bright of Spartanburg.