Gov. Bentley talks lottery, teacher tenure at Huntsville event - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Gov. Bentley talks lottery, teacher tenure at Huntsville event

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Bentley said he's for a state lottery if legislation for it passes and voters approve. Bentley said he's for a state lottery if legislation for it passes and voters approve.
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Governor Robert Bentley took questions at an event with 700 local business leaders in Downtown Huntsville Wednesday.

A question that came up frequently during the meeting was about whether the state will ever have a lottery. Bentley said he won't stand in the way of a state lottery if the legislature passes a referendum and Alabamians approve it.

It is unclear if the issue will get brought up in Montgomery in an upcoming session. Back in 1999, then-Governor Don Siegelman pushed for an education lottery. The referendum failed when 54 percent of voters decided against it.

In recent years, politicians have brought the issue back up, but we haven't seen a push for any change.

"I believe in the right of the people of Alabama to vote on anything," Bentley said in answer to the question. "So, if the legislature wants to pass it, and people vote for it, then I'm all for it."

Bentley also addressed the subject of more jobs coming to the state. He said that he believes the addition of Remington will lead to more arms manufacturers coming to the state.

Bentley was also asked if he plans on looking at teacher tenure laws, after a California judge ruled Tuesday that state's tenure law is unconstitutional. He said he supports our current tenure laws, but left the door open for changes and modifications in the future.

The governor said under the current legislation, districts can still get rid of a bad teacher. He said he was happy when legislators moved to alter tenure laws a few years ago and eliminate tenure for some principals.

He also said teachers do need to have some protection against political ramifications. He was asked if he ever sees the day where Alabama does away with tenure altogether; he said we'll have to wait and see.

"We revised our tenure law a few years ago, and basically our tenure law is not that bad right now. In fact, it's okay," Bentley said.

As recently as a few years back, Republican leaders called reforming Alabama's tenure laws a "top priority."

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