MONTGOMERY — The 2024 legislative session ended on Thursday without the Senate taking another vote on a gambling constitutional amendment developed by a conference committee last week.

The Senate was one vote short of passing a lottery and gambling constitutional amendment last Tuesday. The House passed the proposal easily last week.

The Senate vote failed by a 20-15 margin. It needed 21 votes to pass due to constitutional amendments requiring a 60% threshold in each chamber. However, according to Senate Secretary Pat Harris, a vote on the amendment could've been called again in the Senate since a majority of members voted in favor of adopting the conference committee report. 

Eric Johnston, president of the anti-gambling conservative Southeast Law Institute, said a lawsuit could be filed if the constitutional amendment was brought back up again before the session ended. 

"I have not heard of what that rule is or the citation of that rule that would've allowed them to bring that bill back. That vote failed. That was the end of that bill, and it should not have come back," Johnston told 1819 News on Thursday.

However, no second vote on the constitutional amendment ever happened last week or this week before the legislative session concluded. Both the House and the Senate passed differing lottery and gambling packages earlier in the session.

"I'm quite disappointed because we were so close yet so far," Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) told reporters on Thursday. "It is what it is."

Separate legislation legalizing historical horse racing gambling machines in Greene County died in the House without a vote after passing the Senate in April.

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