In Alabama’s predictable politics, a statewide lottery is often characterized as a magic pill for our systemic funding woes. Depending on the state’s ever-changing list of ailments, proponents say the lottery could pay for public schools or Medicaid or prisons.

For more than two decades, Pati Tiller has been working at the Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties, a nonprofit agency that works with people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. She serves as the outreach coordinator and the Special Olympics coordinator. On March 13, the…