What's to discuss? UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's to discuss? UPDATE

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Another 99-0 House vote, this one on the lottery.

I assume vote will be the same tomorrow on another, even more poorly written gambling law, the one covering "charity" bingo. It came out of committee today. It provides no public means of determining if the constitutional requirement of charity operation is being met or if the proceeds are reaching bona fide charities in any measurable amount or if money is being shuffled off to impermissible recipients. None. Call the roll.

Senate voted 35-0 today on lottery. Lt. Gov. Bill Halter declared victory (on jump). Senate gave him a standing O. It's all over but the Powerball and the inevitable scandal or three. $10 million of my first $100 million off the top to ACLU.

Statement by Bill Halter on House and Senate Approval of Lottery Bills
March 18, 2009

We are pleased to see the Scholarship Lottery move one step closer to
reality today with the approval of companion bills in the state Senate
and state House of Representatives.  This victory for all Arkansans has
been three years in the making and could not have been achieved without
the hard work and unwavering support of countless individuals and

We hope all Arkansans appreciate the boundless philanthropy of John and
Patti Bailey of Little Rock.  Buoyed by their generosity, HOPE for
Arkansas led a successful signature-petition campaign last spring and
summer resulting in overwhelming voter approval of a constitutional

Special thanks as well to Ted and Sharon Bailey, Warren Stephens, John
Tyson, John White, Alan Hughes, the Arkansas State  AFL-CIO, the
Arkansas Oil Marketers Association, the UALR Board of Visitors and so
many others who worked so hard to provide higher education opportunities
for all Arkansans.

We applaud the legislators who worked to draft legislation that should
provide universally available scholarships to all Arkansans who work
hard and play by the rules.  We are thrilled for the Arkansas students
and families who will benefit from these new scholarships.  Over time,
we are confident that the lottery scholarships will dramatically expand
jobs and raise incomes in Arkansas.

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