The first meeting of the Arkansas Lottery Commission is set to take place on May 5, but as of yet there is no set agenda that commissioners will follow. The Bureau of Legislative Research is providing staff and assistance to the commission until they hire their own staff. Bureau director David Ferguson says the meeting will probably be organizational and that the commission has some general housekeeping to take care of, "althought I can't speak for the commission," he said.
Ferguson passed along an email from commmissioner Ray Thornton to other commissioners asking for suggestions on what to discuss. Judging by Ferguson's response, he hasn't received many replies. "They’re going to have to decide when they’re going to meet again and what they’re going to get accomplished at the next meeting. They'll also have to decide who will be the disbursement officer. Any time there is an expenditure there will have to be someone who can authorize it since that money will be coming from the treasury,” Ferguson says.
Thornton said he could not speak for the commission as a whole, but said he believes the meeting will give commissioners a chance to get to know each other and set the agenda for future meetings. The only thing the commission must do, according to statute, is elect a chairman. There has been some speculation that Thornton will become the chairman although he says he hasn’t really thought about it.
“I’ve not been campaigning for any kind office and, to my knowledge, neither have the other commissioners. We’ll get there, visit each other briefly and go into session, and I don’t have any idea who may be elected chairman,” Thornton said.
The meeting is open to the public and will take place in the board room of the University of Arkansas Systems administration office on 2404 North University Avenue. UA Systems communication director Ben Beaumont says there will be plenty of room for the commissioners and the media. They're also setting up audience chairs for members of the public, but space may be a little tight if there's a big turnout.