legilslation

Sports betting bill becomes law without Lee signature

Gov. Bill Lee speaks at an economic development announcement in Nashville on March 20, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Gov. Bill Lee has allowed the online sports gambling bill to become law without his signature.

Here is his letter to House Speaker Glen Casada explaining his actions:

RE: House Bill 0001/Senate Bill 0016 Speaker Casada:

I am letting House Bill 0001 become law without my signature.

I do not believe the expansion of gambling through online sports betting is in the best interest of our state, but I appreciate the General Assembly’s efforts to remove brick and mortar establishments. This bill ultimately did not pursue casinos, themost harmful form of gambling, which I believe prey on poverty and encourage criminal activity.

Compromise is a central part of governing, but I remain philosophically opposed to gambling and will not be lending my signature to support this cause. We see this issue differently but let me be cle ar: any future efforts to expand gambling or introduce casinos in Tennessee will assure my veto.

Respectfully,

Bill Lee

Sunday wine and liquor sales bill heads to governor

The Senate has approved a bill to allow wine and liquor to be sold on Sundays. The 17 votes the bill received were the bare minimum necessary to clear the chamber. Eleven senators voted against the bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro).

The bill will go into effect upon signature by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who has said he will defer to the will of the legislature on the matter (UPDATE: He tells The Tennessean he will sign it). That means liquor stores will immediately be able to open their doors to the public on Sundays. Supermarkets will be able to follow suit starting on Jan. 1.

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