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Tennessee flooded with a multitude of lottery bills

Tennessee LotteryTennessee Lottery: Tennessee flooded with a multitude of lottery bills

On the brink of $1 billion in ticket sales, the year-old Tennessee lottery is the subject of 53 bills in the General Assembly to alter its operations.

State Rep. Ulysses Jones Jr., D-Memphis, who chaired an abbreviated meeting of the joint Lottery Oversight Committee on Monday, said the number of bills to change the lottery "was more than I expected."

But every bill's sponsor will not leave the legislative session happy, he said.

"I don't think you'll see 53 bills coming out of committee," Jones said.

Proposals range from paying for a pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds and raising the amount of college scholarships, to slashing the salary of lottery President Rebecca Paul and ending Sunday sales of lottery tickets.

State Rep. Chris Newton, R-Benton, a committee member, said the number of lottery-focused bills did not surprise him.

"We knew from the outset that there would be new legislation every year," Newton said. "We've been learning as we went along."

Legislators intentionally set lower scholarship awards to begin the program, Newton said.

"We have a covenant with the people of Tennessee to increase the scholarship awards," he said.

Several bills have been filed to raise the basic scholarship awards for students attending state four-year and two-year colleges and technical schools.

Gov. Phil Bredesen is pushing a $25 million appropriation to finance a prekindergarten program across the state.

Newton said he is open to supporting the governor's wishes if the $25 million is a one-time appropriation and that starting pre-K does not weaken the college scholarship program.

"College scholarships are the reason we have this successful lottery today," Newton said.

One proposal that is not likely to make it out of committee, members said, is one to end sales of lottery tickets on Sundays.

According to fiscal projections attached to the no-Sunday-sales bill, lottery revenues would fall by up to $76 million if it were enacted. That would cut the amount available for scholarships by nearly $23 million.

Two bills are aimed at cutting the salary of the lottery's director. One bill would slash Paul's $750,000 salary by more than half, to $300,000. Both bills would allow the governor, at his discretion, to approve a higher salary.

While the pay of lottery executives has drawn criticism in the General Assembly and the public, Newton said legislators set up the lottery corporation to reward good work.

"We're very pleased with the way the lottery has started off and the performance of its staff," he said.

Another lottery bill would require that contact information for gambling addiction help be printed on lottery tickets and be displayed at lottery retail outlets.

Paul told committee members Monday the lottery should reach $1 billion in sales this week. To date, the lottery has produced $246 million in financing for education.

AP

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7 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 1

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
11296 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 10, 2005, 10:10 am - IP Logged

Don't let TN take away Sunday lottery sales.

    ONEDAY's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
    OHIO
    United States
    Member #5328
    June 30, 2004
    1284 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 13, 2005, 12:28 pm - IP Logged

    I say no to any weekend sales!

    have a great winning day!

      Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
      Clarksville
      United States
      Member #487
      July 15, 2002
      17638 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 13, 2005, 12:59 pm - IP Logged

      I think if they are going to have a lottery, have a lottery.  They sell beer on Sunday so why not lottery tickets. I am sick of people trying to trash the lottery.  They need to leave Rebbecca's salary alone..If they cut her salary by 50% if I were her, I would leave them hanging. 

      If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

      You never know when you will get another hit.

        LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
        Tennessee
        United States
        Member #7853
        October 15, 2004
        11338 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 17, 2005, 8:30 pm - IP Logged

        stupid politicians.....


          United States
          Member #379
          June 5, 2002
          11296 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 19, 2005, 3:23 pm - IP Logged

          NY state does not allow beer sales 3am-noon Sundays.

            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
            Tennessee
            United States
            Member #7853
            October 15, 2004
            11338 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 19, 2005, 3:37 pm - IP Logged

            same here cash only in tennessee its 3am-noon.....


              United States
              Member #379
              June 5, 2002
              11296 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 20, 2005, 2:17 pm - IP Logged

              I _very_rarely_ drink anyway.