Today at the Capitol: Light work includes amendment to lottery legislation | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Today at the Capitol: Light work includes amendment to lottery legislation

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 9:45 AM

Most legislative committee meetings this morning are organizational, with no bills on the agenda with a few rare exceptions and the calendars of both the Senate and House show no activity as the legislature plans a get away for the Robert E. Lee/King Holiday weekend for return to work next Tuesday.

One item of small note: Sen. Jimmy Hickey will amend his bill to abolish the existing Lottery Commission and replace it with a gubernatorial commission and put the lottery itself under agency control. He will amend the bill to place the lottery in the Finance and Administration Department, rather than Higher Education as originally written. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said DFA seemed a more logical place than an agency devoted to education, even if the revenue goes to college scholarships.

DFA is already home to the Racing Commission, which oversees horse and dog racing and the Southland and Oaklawn casinos at West Memphis and Hot Springs.

Sen. Jonathan Dismang also will add his amendment to the administration bill to cut income tax for middle-class taxpayers. The bill delays a tax break for higher income taxpayers in 2015 that was approved two years ago and it also omits the poorest 40 percent of taxpayers from any new tax-cut benefits not already scheduled.

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