As the hangover from the 2024 legislative session lingers, some members are speaking out about this year's failed comprehensive gambling effort now that the legislature has adjourned sine die.

On Thursday, State Rep. Chris Blackshear (R-Phenix City), one of the gambling legislation's chief sponsors, criticized the Senate Republicans who opposed his bill.

State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine), one of those "no" votes on gambling, used his weekly appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show" to react to criticism from the House of Representatives.

The Baldwin County Republican lawmakers said the difference was due to Senate Republicans being more conservative than their House counterparts.

"Look, the Senate Republican Caucus is just more conservative than the House Republican Caucus is on this issue," he said. "That's not editorializing. That's just fact. The Senate version of the gambling bill was just more conservative than what the House wanted. So, when you look at the details of what the Senate passed, it had more checks and balances on it. It had less, and what the House had was more money, more government, more entitlement programs, more money for more entitlement programs, growing government. It is just something that the Senate wasn't OK with."

"Honestly, Jeff, I think at the end of the day, from a caucus standpoint, if you're looking at the session and how things went down, it is a whole lot better for the caucus to be in a conservative situation. One is, frankly, more liberal — talking about big government, talking about Medicaid expansion, and more government programs and more government handouts. People wanted a lottery. The Senate voted in favor of that. The majority of the Republican caucus voted in favor of that in the Senate. You know, that was true in the House as well. They just wanted a bunch of other stuff that would not be OK. So, I'm comfortable with my position. I'm comfortable talking about that position. I'm comfortable talking about where the majority of the Republican caucus in the Senate was. And I'm comfortable in that it was more conservative that what the House wanted."

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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