Four times members of Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's staff have traveled to various corners of Arkansas to speak about the lottery proposal.
"When college has never been more important to Arkansas, it's also never been more expensive." Halter says Arkansas needs more college graduates. And the way to fund that is to keep some of the dollars flying out of Arkansas to neighboring states lottery games.
Halter says, "In Texas alone they raised more than a billion dollars for education last year off of their lottery proceeds. Missouri raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Tennessee raised hundreds of millions of dollars last year."
But an anti-lottery organization questions the use of Halter's staff to spread a pro-lottery message.
Trips have been made by his staff to West Memphis, Mena and Northwest Arkansas to speak in favor of the use of lottery proceeds to form a scholarship fund for Arkansas collages.
Halter says his office is not breaking the law or any state rules, "I ran on providing this opportunity for Arkansans. It's a vital interest to public policy. We want people to be well informed. We have, and we will continue to scrupulously abide by the law. We speak with the ethics commission all the time to make sure we're doing the right thing. And that's what we'll continue to do."
The Lt. Governor says Arkansans spend money on the lottery, and will continue to do so whether the state creates one or not.
Halter says, "That money will be from Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas and Louisiana. It will be returning to Arkansas and put to a very good purpose. Which is providing the opportunity for Arkansans to pursue the American dream through higher education."
Five states surrounding Arkansas have their own lottery. Only Mississippi does not.