Lt. Gov. Bill Halter submitted a lottery proposal today to the attorney general's office to check the ballot title, etc.
Still no details about what groups will lend a hand in his effort with either sweat or financial equity.
His release and the measure is on the jump.
FROM LT. GOV. BILL HALTER
PROPOSED SCHOLARSHIP LOTTERY BALLOT INITIATIVE SUBMITTED TO ATTORNEY GENERAL
The proposed scholarship and lottery ballot initiative that Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter earlier this week pledged to put before voters on the 2008 general election ballot was today submitted to the Arkansas Attorney General's Office for review.
"Today we take an important first step towards empowering our citizens with the ability to fund college scholarships with a lottery that keeps Arkansas money here in Arkansas helping Arkansans," remarked Halter. "A lottery will generate an estimated $100 million in new college scholarships that will help more Arkansans obtain better education and training, higher-paying jobs and an enhanced quality of life. With better education and training, our state will be in a stronger position to build and compete for the higher-paying, high-skilled jobs of the 21st Century."
The initiative is simple and straightforward. The initiative requires all proceeds from a lottery to be placed in trust, separate from Arkansas's state treasury, and only spent on operating expenses of the lottery and college scholarships which are exclusively for Arkansas citizens who attend accredited two-year and four-year colleges and universities in Arkansas. The lottery proceeds would not replace existing state education funding. The Arkansas Legislature is tasked with the details associated with creating the lottery.
Unlike any previous initiative put before Arkansas voters, this proposed scholarship-lottery initiative does not include any casino gambling -- widely regarded as one important reason why a lottery was not previously approved by voters.
Halter also announced that Attorney Jack Williams, senior partner of the Little Rock firm Williams & Anderson, has been retained to serve on the team of Arkansans who will help lead the ballot initiative effort. Williams and attorneys in his firm drafted the proposed ballot initiative.
A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AUTHORIZING THE OPERATION AND REGULATION OF LOTTERIES BY OR ON BEHALF OF THE STATE TO FUND SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS FOR ARKANSAS CITIZENS ENROLLED IN ACCREDITED TWO-YEAR AND
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN
An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution authorizing the General Assembly to provide for the operation and regulation of lotteries by or on behalf of the State; REQUIRING LOTTERY PROCEEDS to be used SOLELY to pay the operating expenses of the lotteries, including all prizes, and to FUND OR PROVIDE FOR scholarships and grantS to citizens of this State enrolled in ACCREDITED two-year AND four-year colleges and universities located within this State; REQUIRING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, from time to time, TO ESTABLISH CRITERIA FOR THE SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS AND TO DESIGNATE THE STATE AGENCIES THAT SHALL ACCREDIT THE TWO-YEAR AND FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES; providing that lottery proceeds shall not be subject to appropriation by the General Assembly; declaring lottery proceeds to be cash funds HELD IN TRUST SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE STATE TREASURY; AND providing that lottery proceeds REMAINING after payment of operating expenses AND prizes shall supplement, not supplant, non-lottery educational resources.
Be it enacted by the people of the State of Arkansas :
SECTION 1. Section 14 of Article 19 of the Constitution of the State of Arkansas is amended to read as follows:
Â§ 14. Lotteries prohibited.
No lottery shall be authorized by this State, nor shall the sale of lottery tickets be allowed.
(a) Except as herein specifically provided in this Section 14 of the Arkansas Constitution, all lotteries and the sale of lottery tickets are hereby prohibited.
(b) The General Assembly may by law provide for the operation and regulation of lotteries by or on behalf of the State. Lottery proceeds shall be used solely to pay the operating expenses of the lotteries, including all prizes, and to fund or provide for scholarships and grants to citizens of this State enrolled in accredited two-year and four-year colleges and universities located within this State. The General Assembly, from time to time, shall establish criteria for the scholarships and grants and shall designate the State agencies that shall accredit the two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Lottery proceeds shall not be subject to appropriation by the General Assembly and are specifically declared to be cash funds held in trust separate and apart from the State treasury. Lottery proceeds remaining after payment of operating expenses and prizes shall supplement, not supplant, non-lottery educational resources.