Bentley says lottery special session will start Aug. 15

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says a special session on a possible state lottery will begin Aug. 15.

Bentley's office released a video Friday announcing the start date.

Bentley earlier announced that legislators want to approve a constitutional amendment that would let voters statewide decide whether to approve a lottery. Bentley says a lottery would generate $225 million annually to help fund state services.

Alabama is one of six states without a state lottery. Voters rejected a lottery proposal in 1999 amid heavy opposition from church groups.

The governor called a lottery the best option for solving the state's budget problem.

If lawmakers approve a lottery bill by Aug. 24, the measure could be before voters as soon as the November presidential election.