Rep. Eric Leutheuser, Dist-58 (R), recently introduced HB 5862 which would permit charitable organizations to offer online raffles.  The bill limits the online raffles to eligible charitable organizations who held licenses to conduct raffles in either 2018 or 2019 and contains a sunset date of June 30, 2023.  The bill was referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee which held a hearing and took testimony on the bill June 23, 2020.

Rep Leutheuser testified at that hearing that the bill came about due to the coronavirus affecting raffle tickets sold by charitable organizations.  He noted that the bill is narrowly tailored to the current environment, only allowing charities that already held licenses in either 2018 or 2019, as well as a sunset that would allow evaluation of the program.  He acknowledged that Lottery has some concerns and looks forward to working with Lottery to address its concerns.

Representatives of Domestic Harmony of Hillsdale County, a domestic violence shelter, and Ducks Unlimited testified in support of the bill.  Both witnesses described how their fundraising efforts had significantly declined due to the inability to hold in-person banquets and other events to raise funds due to the restrictions resulting from the coronavirus.  While not wishing to speak, the Bureau of State Lottery submitted a card indicating that it was opposed to the bill as drafted but looked forward to working with Rep. Leutheuser to modify the bill.

The committee referred the bill to the House Ways and Means Committee with a recommendation that it pass, with only Rep. Liberati voting no.  The House Ways and Means Committee had the bill on the agenda for its June 24thmeeting but ending up adjourning without discussion of the bill.