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Kansas Charitable Gaming Measure, SCR 1618 (2014)

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The Kansas Charitable Gaming Measure, SCR 1618, is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Kansas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would authorize the legislature to permit the conduct of charitable raffles or other forms of charitable gaming by certain nonprofit organizations.[1][2][3]

This measure was sponsored in the legislature by the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs, and, specifically by Sen. Caryn Tyson (R-12). It was known in the legislature as Senate Concurrent Resolution 1618.[2]

If approved, the measure would amend Article 15 of the Kansas Constitution by adding a new section to it.[1]

Background

Raffles are currently considered gambling in Kansas, which makes holding raffles illegal in the state. In 2013, the legislature tried to expand the ability of charitable organizations to hold raffles, but the measure was vetoed by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) because he believed it would violate the state constitution. He said in a statement, “However, I support the Legislature’s policy goal of permitting certain limited raffles for charitable purposes," and he encouraged the legislature to consider a constitutional amendment, instead.[4]

According to a summary of the measure by Senator Caryn Tyson,

On the November ballot, as a Kansas voter, you will be able to mark the ballot for or against a Constitutional change that would allow churches, veteran’s organizations, charities, and other non-profits to legally hold raffles. The Constitutional Amendment would restrict the number of raffles per year and ban electronic gaming or vending machines selling raffle tickets. [5]

Senator Caryn Tyson, [6]

Text of measure

Kansas Constitution
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Articles
OrdinancePreambleBill of Rights
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Ballot summary

The following explanatory statement will be printed on the ballot with the amendment as a whole:

Explanatory statement. The constitution currently prohibits the operation of lotteries except for specifically authorized lotteries. A raffle is a lottery and is illegal under current law.

A vote for this proposition would permit the legislature to authorize charitable raffles operated or conducted by religious, charitable, fraternal, educational and veterans nonprofit organization. The legislature would define what constitutes a charitable raffle. Nonprofit organizations would be prohibited from contracting with a professional lottery vendor to manage, operate or conduct a charitable raffle.

A vote against this proposition would continue the current prohibition against all raffles. [5]

Kansas State Legislature, [1]

Constitutional changes

See also: Kansas Constitution, Article 15

If approved, the measure will add the following language to Article 15 of the Kansas Constitution:[1]

§ 3d. Regulation, licensing and taxation of "raffles" authorized. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3 of article 15 of the constitution of the state of Kansas, the legislature may authorize the conduct of charitable raffles, as defined by law, by nonprofit religious, charitable, fraternal, educational and veterans organizations. No such nonprofit organization shall contract with a professional raffle or other lottery vendor to manage, operate or conduct any raffle.

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Kansas ballot measures, 2014

Support

  • The Hutchinson News said,

It is time to make these fundraisers officially lawful, lest state regulators come in and start shutting down activities that, being more about fundraising than gambling, serve a worthy purpose. Besides, with the state running its own casinos, it seems hypocritical to say cheerleaders can’t be selling raffle tickets to raise money for the booster club or parent-teacher organizations for their school. [5]

—John D. Montgomery, Hutchinson News editorial board, [7]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Kansas Constitution

Either house of the Kansas State Legislature can propose an amendment to the state's constitution. Two-thirds of the members of each chamber must approve the resolution. If they do, the proposed amendment goes on either the next statewide ballot during which members of the state legislature are elected, or on a special election ballot if the legislature agrees to have a special election for this purpose.

SCR 1618 was first introduced in the Senate on February 12, 2014. On March 12, 2014, the Senate passed a substitute concurrent resolution as amended. The House adopted this same substitute on March 26, 2014. On April 4, 2014, the resolution was enrolled and presented to the secretary of state.[2]

Senate vote

March 12, 2014 Senate vote

Kansas SCR 1618 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 35 100.00%
No00.00%

House vote

March 26, 2014 House vote

Kansas SCR 1618 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 102 84.30%
No1915.70%

Related measures

See also

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