Pointless annual exercise?
By Todd Northrop
In what would seem to outside observers to be an annual exercise in futility, the Nevada state legislature has again taken up the issue of creating a state lottery.
With lines for lotto tickets like the one for Mega Millions this week in Primm, California, many residents believe Nevada should keep that money within the state and not send it to California. Some are calling for the state to use lottery-generated funds to beef up the state's education system.
The Nevada Youth Legislature sponsored a bill to be discussed in committee Tuesday that would allow an amendment to the constitution for a lottery to fund schools. As always, the idea has mixed reviews.
"Because I'm a parent, I would support anything that would guarantee that the school system would be ranked in at least the top five," parent Jesse Hernandez says.
"I don't think anything is going to fix all our problems, big government is a problem in and of itself and until we fix our government, one thing isn't going to fix everything," parent Kathleen Sanchez says.
The same seemingly unsurmountable obstacles exist this year that have doomed the lottery in past years: an unwilling governor and a bitterly-opposed gaming industry, concerned that a lottery would divert funds from their gaming business.
The senate committee meeting concerning the lottery takes place Tuesday, March 29, 2011, and is open to the public. The meeting is being broadcast live via video conference at the Grant Sawyer building in Las Vegas.