Lottery bickering | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lottery bickering

Posted By on Sun, Feb 15, 2009 at 2:52 PM

House Speaker Robbie Wills sets out to correct "misconceptions" in the AP analysis mentioned here yesterday about conflicts between the legislature and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.

I think Wills creates a new misconception. It seems that he's set on undoing the recently approved lottery amendment with a new amendment that would give the legislature more control over the mechanics. I think he's wrong when he said the amendment is necessary only to insure legislative control over scholarship spending. I think -- and Halter insists legislative authorities back this up -- that the legislature already controls scholarship spending under the amendment he single-handedly got on the ballot and approved by voters. They don't need to fiddle with it except to do mischief. At a minimum, setting out to fix something that's not demonstrably broken before it's even been tried is not confidence inspiring. The speaker's hold on "tradition" is not a persuasive argument to me, absent more specifics.

His attempt to suggest there's a secret bond issue afoot has one giant flaw -- legislative leaders will control the initial leadership of the lottery. Unless they are really stupid, that shouldn't lead to any surprise bond issues.

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