Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 9, 2016, 4:13 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

N.C. lottery's fate could come down to one key vote

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: N.C. lottery's fate could come down to one key vote

The proposal for a North Carolina lottery — which seemed headed for passage a month ago — is in jeopardy.

Senate leader Marc Basnight said Tuesday that supporters did not yet have enough votes to pass the lottery in the Senate and that it was unclear whether they could get those votes before the legislature adjourns for the year.

"It's a flip of the coin," Basnight said in an interview.

Although the Democratic leadership supports a lottery, five Democratic senators are staked out in opposition. That has left party leaders scrambling to persuade one of the five — or one Republican — to support a lottery. In the case of a tie, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, a lottery supporter, would cast the tie-breaker.

Democrats hold a 29-21 margin in the Senate. But Republican leader Phil Berger, an Eden attorney, said the Senate GOP caucus, which will meet today on the issue, seems solidly opposed to a lottery.

"The understanding I've had all along is that there were no Republicans who would vote for it," he said.

The problems for the lottery come toward the end of an especially convoluted legislative process.

The House passed a lottery proposal 61-59 in April. The Senate then inserted lottery language into the $17 billion state budget bill. But even if both the House and Senate approve the budget, the Senate still must approve the House lottery bill for the lottery to become a reality in North Carolina.

Five Democratic senators say they oppose the lottery: Janet Cowell of Raleigh, Ellie Kinnaird of Carrboro, Charlie Albertson of Beulaville, Dan Clodfelter of Charlotte and Martin Nesbitt of Asheville.

"I think it's going to be a tough vote," Cowell said. "Right now, I don't think they have got the votes."

The opponents said they are against a lottery because it wrongly encourages people to gamble, and because it would be an unsteady source of state revenue.

"I think it's bad public policy," said Kinnaird, a lawyer and former Carrboro mayor. "They haven't provided any gambling addiction money or therapy. These are out-of-state corporations [operating the lottery], so the money goes out of state. It doesn't create jobs except for a few convenience stores. There is going to be advertising, which is going to be ugly and ubiquitous."

Basnight, a Manteo restaurant owner, said he supports the lottery because of the money it can provide for public education, and because people are already playing lotteries in surrounding states. He said lotteries have done little damage in other states.

The lottery proceeds would be split three ways: 50 percent for reducing class sizes and for pre-kindergarten learning, 40 percent for school construction and 10 percent for college scholarships.

Basnight said the lottery is one of those issues in which people hold deep-seated convictions.

"When you hear the voices of principle," Basnight said, "you can't go up against those."

He cited Albertson, 73, a former U.S. Department of Agriculture official and country singer, who represents a conservative-leaning district in Lenoir, Sampson and Duplin counties.

"Charlie Albertson feels strongly that we shouldn't have a lottery," Basnight said. "I'm not one to tell Charlie: 'Charlie, I've done everything you ever asked me to do. I'm a supporter of you and your beliefs and try to see that your community grows and has a rightful chance in the prosperity of this state and appointing you to the [committee] chair that you want to be and see that you remain there.'

"Carry all of that in, and let that weigh on Charlie — no, I'm not going to do that."

News & Observer

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

6 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by weshar75.
Page 1 of 1
wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

United States
Member #15143
May 10, 2005
414 Posts
Offline
Posted: August 12, 2005, 11:43 am - IP Logged

Don't blow it now, NC! I'm tired of driving to SC for my tickets even if it is pretty close.

    LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
    Tennessee
    United States
    Member #7853
    October 15, 2004
    11338 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: August 13, 2005, 2:12 am - IP Logged

    if everything goes great and they get the vote it would mean all north carolinians who play the lottery won't have to drive out of state and far distances.good luck.

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #1826
      July 11, 2003
      2645 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: August 13, 2005, 2:21 am - IP Logged

      Just another case of senators voting for their ideals and not the wants and needs of their electorate. And what the electorate wants is a lottery, period.

      (insert signature here)

        wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

        United States
        Member #15143
        May 10, 2005
        414 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: August 13, 2005, 11:34 am - IP Logged

        if everything goes great and they get the vote it would mean all north carolinians who play the lottery won't have to drive out of state and far distances.good luck.

        Folks will still drive out of state for the multistate games. I've seen nothing in the news if NC will eventually join one. TN with Powerball sees some NC cash but the western part of the state isn't as populated as the northern and southern parts of the state. Virginia to the north has MegaMillions. South Carolina to the south has Powerball. Since I live in the southern part of the state I'd l ike to see NC go with MegaMillions so I can play both with less than a 10 mile drive round trip.

         

          dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

          United States
          Member #2338
          September 17, 2003
          2063 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: August 14, 2005, 12:34 am - IP Logged

          I don't see Megamillions going after any other state unless Florida considered joining. I'm always surprised they let WA state join.

            weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
            Mcminnville, Oregon
            United States
            Member #3013
            December 13, 2003
            3054 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: August 14, 2005, 1:31 am - IP Logged

            Well if your not going to row with the boat then you can swim with the fish!  You can stand for the lottery or election time you can stand in newly fired line!