A lottery is wanted

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, March 31, 2016

Most Mississippians would agree that education is a key to success for our children and fully funding public education has been lacking for decades. Most also would agree that roadways in the state are in deplorable shape and need to be repaired. The issue has been how to fund both critical projects.

One idea tossed around and moving through the Mississippi House this session is a state lottery. On Tuesday, representatives voted twice to establish a state lottery, but most believe the proposal will get little support in the state senate, despite the fact thousands of Mississippians cross state lines to purchase lottery tickets in Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, told the Associated Press he is “betting against” the lottery proposals clearing the Senate.

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But Rep. Steve Holland said a majority of Mississippians want a state lottery.

“It’s time to give people what they want, and what they want is a lottery,” he said. “I am positive of that.”

Mississippi voters chose to legalize the possibility of a state lottery in 1992, but many legislators oppose the games of chance because of religious reasons. We think voters in the state should get another opportunity to vote on the issue, and this time allow their decision to stand.