Everbody’s Confused About The Lottery And Priorities

Posted in 80th Legislature, Privatization, The Budget at 9:13 am by wcnews

Two articles on the lottery sale make one thing perfectly clear, everybody’s confused. Legislators are confused about whether or not this will expand gambling, the asking price, smart people and whether this can be done without a constitutional amendment.

Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, wondered whether a private company operating the lottery might view slot machines as a form of gambling similar to the lottery.

“My concern is is that this is opening the door to the mentality of slots in 7-Elevens,” Fraser said. “I don’t want slot machines in 7-Elevens.”


The potential price of the lottery also raised questions from senators.

“The price tag seems to change daily, by billions,” said Sen. Kevin Eltife, a Tyler Republican.

Perry has said $14 billion is a conservative estimate. Consulting firms that prepared documents for Perry’s office said it could go as high as $28 billion.

“I read somewhere that someone said, you know, the private sector, if they buy it, they’re very smart. They’ll know how to maximize the return on the investment. Are we not smart enough to run the lottery?” Eltife said.

Perry said last week that a private company run by “smart people” would make “substantially more money” off of the lottery than the state does.


The lottery was created under the Texas Constitution, Sen. Florence Shapiro, a Plano Republican, noted as she asked whether the sale would require a constitutional amendment. Shapiro also questioned what role the state would have in oversight if the lottery were sold. Lottery Executive Director Anthony Sadberry said it’s possible it would require a constitutional amendment, or at least legislative action, to sell the lottery to a private firm. He and Cox also said under the current setup the lottery commission has the responsibility of overseeing and regulating the lottery.

Texans are confused too.

A number of the missives said state leaders haven’t kept a promise to dedicate lottery profits to public schools.

“Since the beginning it was suppose to be for schools which apparently has not happened. I am totally against the selling of the lottery,” wrote Mary Jane Eickenroht of San Antonio.

A Copperas Cove resident by the name of S. Bravo asked Perry in her e-mail: “Are you crazy? Why are you going to sell the lottery?” She said she’s a schoolteacher and wants the $1 billion from the lottery that goes to schools every year to remain in place.

This last comment in that article go me thinking, I know, uh oh!

But another Texan, describing herself as a 30-year-old conservative Dallas Republican, praised Perry for wanting to use lottery funds to find a cure for cancer and for issuing an order requiring girls to be vaccinated against a virus that’s a leading cause of cervical cancer.

Cancer is an epidemic and should be treated that way, Jamee Green wrote.

“We need all the resources we have fighting this fight!” she wrote. “Thanks for your good work Governor Perry. It is greatly appreciated.”

Nothing like the comments of a 30 year old conservative. Sell the lottery to cure cancer, if it were only that easy. But if cancer is truly an epidemic, and health care and education are also top priorities, it would seem they should be treated that way. Shouldn’t we permanently fund these instead of using a gimmick, that may or may not work out long-term? Why don’t we bust the spending cap to fund serious problems and use this lottery scheme to pay for the property tax swap? I know, I know, property taxes are more of an epidemic than cancer, or education, or children and families without health care.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » Good News said,

    February 21, 2007 at 11:03 am

    […] These couple of stories show that despite what the MSM says shining the light on shady side of politics what the media is supposed to do. And these two stories (Merck to end vaccine lobby effort, Court limits Perry’s power over agencies) tell us that the results are good for the people when the media does what it’s supposed to do. Maybe if the MSM would have dug deeper into the TTC and the Accenture deal a few years back they would have been exposed for the schemes they were before they became the destructive forces they now are. Too bad we didn’t have a fully engaged blogosphere back then. Hopefully the lottery scheme will follow next. […]

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