Yesterday, the Arkansas Lottery voted to give raises to two employees—advertising director Joanna Bunten and chief legal counsel Bishop Woosley. Bunten received a 20% increase and Woosley received an 8% increase.
According to lottery spokeswoman Julie Baldridge in a story by KATV-7, these raises were “overdue under state regulations.” Whether the respective 20% and 8% raises were specifically mandated—or just some kind of raise was required—is not immediately known.
Chairman of the Arkansas Federation of College Republicans Skot Covert had this to say about the situation on his blog:
“I may just be a college student, but I can do the simple math. Granted the total amount of the pay raises combined may not be significant in the grand scheme of the Arkansas Lottery operation, but, is it possible that amount could fund at least one more scholarship?”
This is the very question that many Arkansans are asking. Why does it appear that the lottery is more focused on salary increases and less concerned about scholarships? People are aware that salaries keep going up while scholarships are being decreased. The lottery could do a huge favor for its public image by lowering the salaries of its highest paid employees, making some budget cuts, and restoring the scholarship amounts to where they were originally.