A.G. Rejects Casino Amendment

March 14, 2018 | Posted in Casinos | By

On Monday Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment establishing four casinos in Arkansas.

The proposal is similar to one the A.G.’s office rejected last month.

Supporters of the measure want to circulate petitions to place the amendment on the November ballot. If passed, the amendment would authorize casinos in Jefferson, Garland, Crittenden, and Pope counties.

The measure also would legalize sports betting at these casinos if federal laws against sports betting change.

The A.G.’s office said the amendment’s popular name was too long to be useful and that its ballot title did not accurately reflect the measure.

The A.G.’s office also noted that the ballot title itself appeared too long. In the past courts have indicated that ballot titles must be short enough that voters can read and understand them in a reasonable amount of time while in the voting booth.

We applaud Attorney General Rutledge and her team for rejecting this casino amendment. Gambling is a blight on the community. It preys on the poor and hurts families. These are problems Arkansas simply does not need.

You can read the Attorney General’s entire decision here.

AR Lottery Paying 17 Cents on the Dollar to Scholarships This Fiscal Year

March 12, 2018 | Posted in Arkansas Lottery | By

On Friday the Arkansas Lottery released its monthly financial report for January.

The report shows the Arkansas Lottery took in nearly $39.4 million, but paid out less than $6 million for college scholarships — about 15% of all the money it made last month.

So far this fiscal year the Arkansas Lottery is allocating a paltry 17% of its income for college scholarships.

The Arkansas Lottery has been an abysmal failure. Ten years ago, lottery proponents said a state-run lottery would generate $100 million per year for Arkansas’ Academic Challenge Scholarship. That hasn’t happened.

Instead, last month the Arkansas Legislature voted to allocate $25 million in taxpayer money to help supplement the Academic Challenge Scholarship. Lawmakers have had to do this every year since the Lottery was established.

If the Lottery Office would change its priorities and increase the percentage of its budget it sets aside for students, it could easily generate much more money in scholarship funding.

Below is a breakdown of the lottery’s revenue and scholarship budget so far this fiscal year.

Month Gross Lottery Revenue Paid to Scholarships % Gross Revenue
July $36,885,396.81 $6,661,762.99 18.1%
August 49,320,459.23 8,912,741.54 18.1%
September 36,405,731.14 6,755,333.93 18.6%
October 39,802,740.53 5,667,305.74 14.2%
November 36,186,107.78 6,691,228.00 18.5%
December 44,716,219.32 6,583,355.77 14.7%
January,2018 44,063,056.11 8,230,861.00 18.7%
February 39,389,927.57 5,947,647.50 15.1%
Total $326,769,638.49 $55,450,236.47 17.0%

Satanic Temple Opposing Pro-Life Laws in Federal Court

March 8, 2018 | Posted in Abortion | By

According to The Kansas City Star, the Satanic Temple has filed a federal lawsuit opposing a pro-life law in Missouri.

The Satanic Temple reportedly filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Missouri woman, claiming the state’s informed consent law requiring doctors to wait 72 hours before performing an abortion is unconstitutional.

Although I doubt the Satanists will be able to get the courts to strike down Missouri’s informed consent law, the case could have ramifications for Arkansas.

Arkansas and Missouri have similar informed-consent laws for abortion, and both states are in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

That means a pro-life victory for Missouri in the Eighth Circuit could help reinforce pro-life laws in Arkansas or shape our state’s pro-life legislation in the future.