Lawmakers are expected to take up a comprehensive gambling bill early in the 2024 legislative session set to be underway next week.

While gambling is at the top of the list for some this year, State Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says it is his hope the topic doesn't completely consume the legislature for 2024.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," the Montgomery County Republican acknowledged the need to crack down on illegal gambling but was noncommittal on a so-called comprehensive bill as the solution to the problem.

"I do agree with that part of the equation," he said. "I think there's a lot of illegal gambling that's going on now, and we're not doing a good job of enforcing. Whether or not we need a comprehensive gambling package to accomplish that is a different story. But we'll see what comes from the House. The gambling issue has certainly taken a lot, a lot of air and oxygen. We'll see. I just hope wherever that debate goes, either passage or failure, I hope we're able to get some other things done that we need to focus on throughout the session."

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"You know, I, certainly, and other lawmakers have issues that are extremely important to the citizens, and we want to get those up so we hope it doesn't kill the rest of the session just by focusing just on gambling," Barfoot added.

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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