Toomers Tree 5

Former Auburn Tigers coach Pat Dye discusses planting and care of a liveoak transplanted from his farm, a descendant of one of the historic Toomers Oaks.

I have joined with former Alabama Power CEO Charles McCrary and Alabama business leader Raymond Harbert to create the Alabama Jobs Foundation, a group dedicated to letting the people vote on a state lottery/gaming constitutional amendment.

Alabama is my home. I have loved Alabama since Coach Bryant gave me my first coaching job in 1965. So it saddens me to see the state I love facing this financial crisis.

I fully support Sen. Marsh’s plan for a lottery and casino gaming. I believe that a lottery and gaming must be a part of any solution to our financial problems.

The people of Alabama cannot afford a massive tax increase nor will the Alabama Legislature pass a massive increase on the backs of our families. Too many people are already struggling financially and those tax hikes will just be passed on to those same struggling people.

At the same time, we cannot cut our way out of this problem either. Thatis why any plan to solve Alabama’s long-term financial problems must include a lottery and gaming.

The Marsh Plan will create 11,000 new jobs, create $400 million in new revenue to solve this crisis, and have a $1.2 billion annual impact on our economy. More importantly, the amendment does not ask you to vote for or against gaming, only to vote for or against the right of the people to make this decision.

The Alabama Jobs Foundation plans to raise money, hire staff, lobby the Legislature and create public information campaigns to help the people understand this issue. We will do everything in our power to get the people the right to vote on this issue.

This issue is not about the Auburn family, or the Alabama family. It isabout the state of Alabama family, every family. I think the Marsh Plan is the right thing to do for the state that I love.

I look forward to personally discussing this matter with you in the future.

Pat Dye is the former head football coach for Auburn University.

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