John Litzler, Director of Public Policy for Texas Baptists’ Christian Life Commission, said: “Expect legislation similar to the types of bills filed in the past.”
However, unlike some recent sessions in which legislators faced tight budgets, this year lawmakers likely will work with a $27bn budget surplus, albeit limited by a spending cap.
Litzler added: “The challenge legislators face is making improvements that can be sustainable for the future. They have to look for permanent solutions. It can’t be just a one-time fix, working with extra money.”
Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, already introduced SJR17, which would allow up to nine casino licences in Texas, including four for destination casinos. This would create a sports wagering licensing program.
And both Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick campaigned on expanding “school choice,” allowing parents to direct state funds to private schools.
However, Texas Baptists strongly oppose gambling expansion. They feel doing so will legalise sports betting.
They are also against introducing efforts to divert tax dollars to private religious schools as they believe the law will amend it and allow to pass a limited voucher program, instead of a full-scale alteration of education funding.
In September, Scientific Games confirmed it will extend its partnership with the Texas Lottery to provide scratch ticket games and custom promotions.