Legislation is last step to allow veterans groups to hold an annual fundraising event like duck races, cake walks, raffles and other games of chance

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), November 6, 2014 – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chairman Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City) announced today they are drafting enabling legislation to allow 501 (c) (19) veterans organizations to raise funds for charitable purposes in accordance with Constitutional Amendment 4 which was ratified by the voters on Tuesday. Amendment 4, which gives veterans groups the same opportunity as 501 (c) (3) organizations to conduct an annual fundraising event like duck races, cake walks, raffles, and other games of chance, received 69.6% of the vote, outpacing all other constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Senator Crowe was the prime sponsor of the amendment and Senator Norris is Chairman of the Veterans Subcommittee of the Senate State and Local Government Committee. Any funds raised by the games under Amendment 4 must go to purposes that benefit the community, veterans or retired veterans.

“We are very pleased this amendment received such high approval among voters,” said Senator Norris. “These veterans groups do a lot of good community service work and the passage of this amendment can help them in their efforts. Our legislation will allow this process to move forward and will ensure that the deadline affords these organizations enough time to get their applications in.”

Currently, 501 (c) (3) organizations must submit an application and all required attachments between July 1st and January 31st each year for an event which takes place between July 1 and June 30.

“Years ago, when the constitutional amendment allowing charitable gaming passed, our veterans were left out,” said Senator Crowe. “We have been working ever since to change the Constitution so they can raise charitable funds to benefit the less fortunate in our communities, like our wounded warriors. The legislation is the final step in ensuring that this constitutional amendment is enacted. We look forward to bringing it before the General Assembly as soon as the legislature convenes and will push for passage as quickly as possible.”

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