Lieutenant Governor Calls for Statewide Lottery

MARCH 8, 2007 - Posted at 7:18 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter says that, if Arkansans want to move their state out of the bottom rankings in education and economic development, a lottery to fund college scholarships and teacher bonuses will help do the job.

Halter appeared yesterday before the House Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs, which is considering what constitutional amendments to put on the 2008 ballot.

Halter told the lawmakers that he's not a big advocate of gambling, but is a supporter of higher education and education generally in the state of Arkansas.  He cited a report issued by legislative researchers that said the lottery could raise between $60 million and $83 million a year.

Halter said that, if somebody can find another way to put $80 million a year into higher education and into providing college scholarships for Arkansans, he'll join up and push for it.

Under a House Joint Resolution filed by Rep. Will Bond, the proceeds from the lottery would go toward college scholarships and toward teacher bonuses.  The proposal does not detail how the scholarships would be awarded or to whom.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)