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Resolution: 2020-27

Title:  Support of Changing Tennessee Law 3-17-101 To Allow Veteran 501(c)(19) Nonprofit Organizations Host Games of Chance

Origin:  Department Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, Tennessee Public Law 3-17-101 allows for Nonprofit organizations to conduct games of chance, and

WHEREAS, This Law allows only an annual event to be conducted between July 1 and June 30 the following calendar year, and

WHEREAS, An application must be submitted by January 31 each year for the annual event period, and

WHEREAS, The application must include an application fee that is to be determined and not to exceed $700.00, and

WHEREAS, The annual event application fees are nonrefundable, and

WHEREAS, The Law specifies when the solicitation and sale of tickets, raffles, or other fund-raising activities may officially begin, and

WHEREAS, The reporting requirements to state and local officials about the annual event is not feasible to small posts with membership under 200 members, and

WHEREAS, The accounting requirements to be reported would require the expertise of an accountant which would incur an additional cost, and

WHEREAS, Allowing for only one event annually has had a detrimental effect in a Post’s ability to raise funds for Veteran Rehabilitation, Children and Youth, Patriotism Programs; and

WHEREAS, Veteran Service Organizations within the State of Tennessee are at a distinct disadvantage, compared to their counterparts in other states, when attempting to accomplish the objective of their National Charter; and

WHEREAS, Community awareness of the American Legion is absent, and

WHEREAS, Service to our Veterans and the support of the American Legion programs that affect our Children and Youth, National Defense and Americanism would be enhanced; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, By the Department Resolutions Committee, The American Legion, Department of Tennessee in a regular meeting, February 8, 2020; we, the delegates, representing 22,000 American Legion members that honorably served our Nation and their families, The American Legion, Department of Tennessee recommend to the General Assembly of State of Tennessee to have the legislature revise Article XI, Section 5 of the Constitution of Tennessee, to allow the same provisions currently allowed by the Secretary of State (raffles, reverse raffles, cakewalks, and cake wheels), but without the application process along with the following additions:  bingo, live card games, pull tabs, instant and on-line lottery games operated by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation as well as placing wagers on professional sporting events as previously approved by the General Assembly; and, be it further

RESOLVED, These funds would be used for promoting patriotism, to include, but not limited to flag education, traditional values, the importance of sportsmanship, good health and active citizenship and to give Veteran Service Organizations the ability to fund policies, plans and programs on direct assistance, outreach and support for veterans and their families pertaining to health care, memorial affairs, women veteran programs and to help address veteran homelessness.