BOSTON (SHNS) – There does not seem to be support for a measure to legalize online Lottery sales in the Senate budget, according to Sen. Paul Feeney, who filed an amendment to add “iLottery” to the spending plan.

The Senate Ways and Means budget recommendation did not include the policy shift. The House in its budget authorized online Lottery sales to generate $200 million for Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) grants to fund the early education and care sector. Feeney filed the amendment this year to tack the authorization onto the Senate’s $55.8 million spending plan.

“Right now it seems like there’s no consensus on it in the Senate, which is okay. I think if we’re going to do, you know, if we’re going to do a substantial piece like that, we want to make sure we get it right,” Feeney told the News Service late Monday. He added, “We’re having great conversations. I don’t feel right now that there’s consensus building right now about passing it in the budget this week, but those conversations are happening.”

The Feeney amendment directs iLottery revenue to cities and towns. “The idea with our amendment is to supplement Lottery revenue that we’re getting now, which is the largest source of unrestricted local aid. We know that that is in jeopardy as Lottery players get older and we want to make sure that, you know, newer players are coming on board. I think the way to do that is through technology,” Feeney said.

He said the Senate’s slower approach is intended to ensure safeguards to protect Lottery sellers at brick-and mortar-locations, who are worried about online Lottery overtaking an offering that helps bring customers into stores.

“We’ve seen in other states and other jurisdictions that when they’ve done that, it actually helped boost the amount of revenue that was coming into Lottery agents, because you were just bringing on more and more players,” Feeney said. “If that’s not right for this week and a budget amendment then I understand that, but I think we can make that case, put in the right safeguards that the Senate wants to see and continue to enhance the revenue that comes from the Lottery to our cities and towns.”

Amendment debates start Tuesday morning.