Halter Touts $300,000 Pledge in Lottery Campaign

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter announced today that a Little Rock builder has pledged $300,000 to his campaign to put a state-run lottery on the 2008 ballot.

Developer John Bailey and his family pledged the money to the group "Hope for Arkansas," which is Halter's campaign committee for the proposed constitutional amendment.  Halter has said the lottery will fund $100 million each year in college scholarships.

Bailey is listed as Hope for Arkansas' treasurer on papers the organization has filed with the state Ethics Commission.

Halter says he does not know when he will submit a revised version of the proposal to create the lottery.  Attorney General Dustin McDaniel last week rejected the wording of the proposed amendment, but Halter can resubmit his plan with new language.

McDaniel's office must certify the proposed amendment's language before lottery supporters can begin gathering signatures.  Placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot requires collecting signatures of registered voters equal to 10 percent of the ballots cast in last year's governor's election, or about 78,000 signatures.

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