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Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
  • Amendment Seeks Veteran’s Lottery Ticket

  • The LCL’s August 5 Primary Election coverage continues with a look at Amendment 8. This amendment seeks to create a special lottery ticket, whose profits would go towards funding for veterans services.
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  •  The LCL’s August 5 Primary Election coverage continues with a look at Amendment 8. This amendment seeks to create a special lottery ticket, whose profits would go towards funding for veterans services.
    The official ballot language reads:
    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to create a “Veterans Lottery Ticket” and to use the revenue from the sale of these tickets for projects and services related to veterans?
    The annual cost or savings to state and local governmental entities is unknown, but likely minimal. If sales of a veterans lottery ticket game decrease existing lottery ticket sales, the profits of which fund education, there could be a small annual shift in funding from education to veterans’ programs. “
    While the “fair” ballot language (Coutesy of ballotpedia.org) reads:
    A ‘yes’ vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to create a “Veterans Lottery Ticket.“ This amendment further provides that the revenue from the sale of these tickets will be used for projects and services related to veterans.
    A ‘no’ vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution to create a “Veterans Lottery Ticket.”
    If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.”
    This amendment would mirror similar legislation passed in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Texas, in its expansion of existing lottery programs. The main difference between these lottery items, and the existing ones, is that the new lottery would have its profits go toward veterans, as opposed to education. Traditionally, lottery funds are used to fund education.
    This issue is supported by a number of Representatives, on both sides of the isle, as well as the Missouri Veterans of Foreign Wars.
    The proponents of this amendment argue that the measure would increase funding for veterans homes, of which there are seven in Missouri. It is widely reported that the waiting list for these homes is over 1900 people long.
    Opponents of this amendment include:  Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, US Navy Veteran Elliott Dennison, and the Southwest Missouri Democrats. Arguments against this amendment stem from the regressive nature of lottery earnings.
    “The lottery is one of the most inefficient ways that out state government can produce revenue,” said Rep. LaFaver. “For every dollar that somebody buys a lottery ticket, only 25 cents actually make it to a school or veterans home.”
    LaFaver also opposes the issue as a lottery item, due to fear that it would take revenue away from schools. LaFaver also notes he is in favor of increasing funding for veterans programs. “Let’s advocate for it in the budget,” said LaFaver. “Let’s advocate for it through an efficient revenue stream. Let’s do that without taking from education.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Since its implementation in 1986, the Missouri Lottery has raised money for education. For every dollar spent on the Missouri Lottery, 24.5 cents go to public education, 64.7 cents go to prizes, 4.6 cents go to administration, and 6.2 cents go towards retailers for commissions, incentives and bonuses.
    In 2013, the Missouri Lottery had $1,140,833,158 in sales, and $288,804,006 in proceeds.

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