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Arkansas lottery plan garners some support

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Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter found support Thursday among Arkansas' city officials for his proposed constitutional amendment to establish a state-run lottery.

The proposal, for which supporters are gathering signatures to place on the November general election ballot, would earmark lottery proceeds for college scholarships.

Using a football analogy Thursday, Halter pitched his proposal to the winter conference of the Arkansas Municipal League as a way to move Arkansas from mired at or near the bottom in national rankings on education issues.

He compared the perpetual low rankings — Arkansas has one of the lowest percentages of adults with college degrees in the nation — to a team that continually runs the ball without success.

"It's time for us to throw the football," Halter said. "If status quo is going to get us the same old results, I for one am tired of the same old results."

During a 90-minute session, conferees also discussed two proposals placed on the ballot by the Legislature last year — annual legislative sessions and allowing the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to issue up to $300 million in general obligation bonds for water and waste water projects, though the controversial lottery amendment got the most attention.

"Voters need to have the opportunity to decide this for themselves," Halter said.

During a question-and-answer period, Dwight Booth, an alderman from Manila in Northeast Arkansas, asked for a show of hands of those who had purchased a lottery ticket in a neighboring state and most of the hands shot up.

However, one city official chided the state's No. 2 elected official for proposing a lottery.

"How can you base a hope on something that is unsure like a lottery," Willia Kerby, a Green Forest City Council member, asked Halter.

"The lottery teaches you that you get something for nothing, and education is something you have to work for. It takes discipline, it takes hard work, it takes perseverance. Those are the kinds of things we need to teach in Arkansas," Kerby said. "Just because 42 other states have the lottery doesn't mean it's the best for Arkansas."

She also asked Halter if his mother ever asked him if he would jump in front of a train if everyone else was doing it. Halter said she had, many times.

"But she also told me in 100 different ways to be enlightened by the experience around you, to look at the facts, look at what goes on in other places, to learn from that ... absolutely try to address this, not only with an open mind, but by also digging into the facts and digging into the experience of others," he said.

Supporters of the proposed constitutional amendment have until July 7 to gather 77,468 signatures of registered voters to get the proposal on the November ballot.

During the session, Rep. Eric Harris, R-Springdale, and Sen. Bill Pritchard, R-Elkins, discussed Proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 on the ballot, which would allow for annual sessions.

The measure, referred to the ballot by the Legislature, would authorize the Legislature to hold 30-day budget session in even-numbered years in addition to regular sessions held in odd-numbered years.

Harris said budget sessions would allow lawmakers to more rapidly address economic upturns or downturns.

Under the proposal, a three-fourths majority in both chambers would be required to extend the current 60-day regular sessions by 15 days, instead of the current simple majority vote.

During budget sessions, a two-thirds majority vote would be required to discuss non-budget issues.

Randy Young, director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, discussed Referred Question 1, which would allow the state Natural Resources Commission to issue up to $300 million in general obligations bonds for financing and refinancing of water and wastewater projects.

Proposed Amendment 1, also referred to the ballot by the Legislature, was not discussed Thursday. It would remove obsolete language from the state constitution, such as references to the poll tax, which were struck down in the 1960s. The amendment would also give the state the power to set the qualifications for election officers.

The Morning News

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14 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by myturn.
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Captain Lotto's avatar - CaptLotto
Jefferson City, MO
United States
Member #55250
September 20, 2007
97 Posts
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Posted: January 11, 2008, 3:55 pm - IP Logged

They still have dry counties in Arkansas.  I just can't see the voters approving a Lottery.  You know they wouldn't be allowed to sell on Sunday, fo' sure. 

Captain Lotto

"Every day is a good day!"

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    United States
    Member #1826
    July 11, 2003
    2645 Posts
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    Posted: January 11, 2008, 8:56 pm - IP Logged

    They still have dry counties in Arkansas.  I just can't see the voters approving a Lottery.  You know they wouldn't be allowed to sell on Sunday, fo' sure. 

    They have dry counties in Tennessee, and they have a lottery, with Sunday drawings.

    (insert signature here)

      LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
      Tennessee
      United States
      Member #7853
      October 15, 2004
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      Posted: January 11, 2008, 9:03 pm - IP Logged

      i'd love to see a lottery in arkansas......WITH ball drawings.

        LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
        Tennessee
        United States
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        October 15, 2004
        11338 Posts
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        Posted: January 11, 2008, 9:04 pm - IP Logged

        the horse track in hot springs plus the dag track in west memphis might fight those lottery plans for the entertainment dollars.

          konane's avatar - wallace
          Atlanta, GA
          United States
          Member #1265
          March 13, 2003
          3333 Posts
          Online
          Posted: January 11, 2008, 9:29 pm - IP Logged

          i'd love to see a lottery in arkansas......WITH ball drawings.

          LOTTOMIKE for your sake along with other lottery players near the border I hope Arkansas gets a ball drop lottery going very soon.   Dance

          Georgia still doesn't have liquor or beer sales on Sunday.   

          Good luck to everyone!

            Think's avatar - lightbulb
            Marquette, MI
            United States
            Member #20541
            August 20, 2005
            705 Posts
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            Posted: January 11, 2008, 9:59 pm - IP Logged

            Arkansas should make it unconstitutional to use anything except scrathcers and ball drawings from the get go.

              LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
              Tennessee
              United States
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              October 15, 2004
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              Posted: January 12, 2008, 12:39 am - IP Logged

              i can't tell you how hard it is not playing but i'm glad i haven't.i haven't spent one dime since tennessee went to RNG.i've been playing pick 4 on paper for tennessee and my numbers haven't hit once and that includes box hits.there is a very big difference between the balls and RNG.those computerized draws really do tend to spit out weird numbers like 4441,7121 or 1109 or just numbers that no one really plays.this ordeal would've been easier to deal with if i was still able to play betslips and now because of that internet gambling bill i can't do that either,lol.i really got screwed in quick succession as far as lottery playing is concerned.it seemed like both of those things happened so quickly.Sad

                littlejsing's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing

                United States
                Member #55439
                September 30, 2007
                47 Posts
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                Posted: January 12, 2008, 10:36 am - IP Logged

                Guess Rebecca Paul-Hargrove will be headed there next.  Good riddance!! She's sure made it impossible to win in Tenn. 

                  chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

                  United States
                  Member #38687
                  May 3, 2006
                  315 Posts
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                  Posted: January 12, 2008, 2:25 pm - IP Logged

                  Guess Rebecca Paul-Hargrove will be headed there next.  Good riddance!! She's sure made it impossible to win in Tenn. 

                  I Agree!........

                  Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot

                    mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

                    United States
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                    October 21, 2005
                    623 Posts
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                    Posted: January 13, 2008, 1:48 am - IP Logged

                    Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama education could use a swift boosting kick to their educational systems.  The AMA Lottery, joint state effort anybody?

                      Bondi Junction
                      Australia
                      Member #57242
                      December 24, 2007
                      1102 Posts
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                      Posted: January 14, 2008, 1:03 am - IP Logged

                      If you live in Arkansas, do you buy tickets for, or subscribe to other state lotteries?

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                        ash flat Ar
                        United States
                        Member #57739
                        January 17, 2008
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                        Posted: January 18, 2008, 4:47 pm - IP Logged

                        with the lottery, the taxpayer has a chance to get some of the money back.....about the same chance as getting some state service for his/her buck...

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                          ash flat Ar
                          United States
                          Member #57739
                          January 17, 2008
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                          Posted: January 18, 2008, 4:55 pm - IP Logged

                          I live in a dry county in Arkansas that borders Missouri.  A great number of people in this county drive to Missouri to play their lottery, buy their beer and wine.   Missouri gets all the tax dollars and all Arkansas gets out of it is the trash.

                            Bondi Junction
                            Australia
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                            December 24, 2007
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                            Posted: January 22, 2008, 4:14 am - IP Logged

                            I believe you can play the Massachusetts lottery from anywhere, you don't need a in-state address. Is that right?