$10 million Budget Shortfall Looming for 2015 Lottery Scholarships

During the first six months of Fiscal Year 2015 (which began last summer) at the Arkansas Lottery the percentage of gross lottery revenue allocated for scholarships dropped to record lows.

Month Gross Lottery Revenue Paid to Scholarships % Gross Revenue
July $30,925,067.43 $5,928,447.99 19.2%
August 31,571,412.10 5,296,965.80 16.8%
September 30,710,493.31 4,317,227.10 14.1%
October 32,959,739.29 5,939,625.59 18.0%
November 30,617,278.28 5,577,035.16 18.2%
 December 34,507,731.54 5,474,318.77 15.9%
Total $191,291,721.95 $32,533,620.41 17.0%


Based on these figures, the Arkansas Lottery is on track to pay out roughly $65 – $70 million in scholarship money. That’s about $10 – $15 million less than projected for Fiscal Year 2015.

Last summer the Lottery Director told the Arkansas Lottery Commission that “the very conservative budget anticipated $81.2 million net proceeds to [college scholarships] for [Fiscal Year] 2015.”

The average state lottery allocates about 30% of its gross revenue for its intended purpose (e.g. education, college scholarships, etc.). However, the Arkansas Lottery is allocating, on average, 17% of its revenue for college scholarships. That’s the lowest percentage in its history, and one of the lowest in the nation.

This comes as the Arkansas Legislature considers bills that would overhaul the Arkansas Lottery–including legislation to change the way scholarships are allocated and abolish the Arkansas Lottery Commission by making the Lottery part of the Department of Finance and Administration.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state is also considering eliminating eight lottery staff positions to reduce costs. The savings to the Lottery would total somewhere over $400,000 per year–about 1/25 of the money lottery officials need in order to make up for the estimated budget shortfall shaping up for the year.

Pro-Life Bill Passes Committee, Heads to Entire Arkansas House

HB1076 by Rep. Julie Mayberry passed the House Public Health Committee in Little Rock, yesterday.

The bill would require doctors administering abortion-inducing drugs be present for the chemical abortion procedure. The bill comes as evidence mounts that abortion providers are administering drugs like RU-486 in a manner that is inconsistent with FDA protocols.

The bill now heads to the entire Arkansas House of Representatives, where it will be voted on in the coming days. The bill has more than 40 sponsors in the Arkansas House, and needs 51 votes to pass.

An identical bill has been filed by Senator Irvin in the Arkansas Senate.

Abortion Industry Pays for Study Showing Abortifacients “Safe”

A study showing Planned Parenthood administers abortion-inducing drugs “safely” despite failing to follow FDA protocols has made headlines recently.

But what if I told you the study was actually paid for by Planned Parenthood and conducted by Planned Parenthood employees?

National Review Online writes,

“If the tobacco industry paid for two studies to refute the claim that tobacco hurts your health, and the major premise of both studies was that the manufacturers of tobacco products reviewed their records and did not find any association between tobacco and ill health, would we believe them?”

The study lists its funding sources as Planned Parenthood Federation of America (MG and DN) and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

What’s more, two of the three lead researchers who published the study work for Planned Parenthood’s office in Los Angeles, California. The third author is a member of Princeton’s Office of Population Research.

This “study” comes as legislators in Arkansas and elsewhere look to regulate unsafe chemical abortion practices. Abortion advocates claim this study proves these regulations are unnecessary, but given the source of the research, I would take its findings with a grain of salt.