Becky Says...

August 2005

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The Lottery - August 30

News of the day in North Carolina is the brand-new, shiny lottery bill passed by the Senate. It is due to be signed into law tomorrow morning at 10:00. Set your VCRs; this is one of those bill-signings that will be covered live and probably involve many pens.

And I would feel better about it if it didn't look as though the Senate did a stinky. Two of its members known to be against the lottery were absent from the hastily-called session; one on a honeymoon and the other recuperating from a leg problem. So the bill was voted upon, with a tie-breaking vote cast by the Lieutenant Governor.

All along it has been said that the proceeds from lottery ticket sales will go toward the nebulous concept of education. I have heard most praise for it from those who see it as a shining beacon of hope constructed of bricks and mortar to allow repairs and other good things to schools in counties where money is scant, since such repairs and other good things come from county funds. I have also heard talk of payment for college for underprivileged students.

Those are good things, but frankly I would rather see a split use plan, to have some of the money go toward other causes. For a couple of instances, I'd like some of it going to reduce the burdens on counties brought about by rising fuel costs. And some could go toward the purchase of more and better equipment for emergency services.

I do agree with those who have said that since people are going to play the lottery anyway, it's better that we keep some of the money at home than send it to neighboring states. At the same time, I hate that those states, which have no doubt been helped considerably by North Carolina dollars, will be scrambling to make up the money.

Yes, I realize I sound like a real grinch about this. But I don't particularly care for sneaky things, and I don't particularly think most of the problems I see in North Carolina are going to be solved with a lottery.

Anyway, it's now a done deal. Or it will be, with the Governor's signing. The outcome, of course, remains to be seen.

Text © copyright 2000-2005 Becky