Lieutenant General Bill Halter appeared on KARN this morning to answer questions on the lottery proposal; sort of a mini-version of “Meet the Governor.” Being the diligent blogger that I am, I could not help but the call in and ask a question. I asked Halter about a key part of his plan which says, “The effectiveness of the Scholarship Lottery should be evaluated biennially.” What concerns me is this evaluation only calls for how effective the lottery is at paying out scholarships. I have opposed the adoption of the lottery primarily because of concerns that the lottery will have a negative impact on our state’s economy. The proponents of the lottery of insisted this was not the case.
I believe that an important component of the lottery needs to be a holistic evaluation of the lottery including an impact of the lottery on the state’s economy. If the supporters of the lottery are correct, then they will welcome this evaluation. When asked this question this morning, I was pleased that Halter replied, “I have no objection to that at all.”
Halter also stated this morning that he would like to get the lottery passed as soon as possible and begin selling tickets by the end of 2009. It seems that the lottery will be on the fast track during this legislative session. Rest assured the Tolbert Report will be here to watch what happens.