February 4, 2006 - Posted at 1:59 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ At least two candidates for statewide office
are touting a lottery as the way to solve school-funding
shortfalls. And legislator and longtime lottery proponent, Buddy
Blair of Fort Smith, says he may push for such an initiative during
a special session.
Gubernatorial candidate Bill Halter, a Democrat, says a lottery
would raise as much as 250 million dollars a year and would not
replace other revenues for education. And Drew Pritt, a Democrat
running for lieutenant governor, has been pushing for a lottery.
Both candidates say a lottery would be popular with voters who
are wary of tax increases.
During last year's regular session, Representative Blair
introduced a lottery proposal, and he says he might re-introduce
the legislation if the Legislature meets in special session this
year. Blair says lottery-funded education improvements would have
addressed some of the shortcomings cited by state Supreme Court
justices in the long-running school case.