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Scratch the lottery plan

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Kansas City Star: A question on Missouri’s Aug. 5 ballot would extend the state lottery to include a new scratch-off ticket to raise money for homes for elderly and disabled veterans, and for maintenance of veterans cemeteries.

The cause is good, but the funding method is flawed. Voters should say “no.”

The back story of Constitutional Amendment 8 demonstrates the folly of relying on gambling revenues to fund essential state services.

Missouri has a responsibility to properly fund services for veterans and also to prepare children for a bright future. It shouldn’t be placing good causes into competition with one another for gambling funds.

New lottery ticket

Creating a new lottery ticket for veterans may siphon money from elementary and secondary education, which currently receives lottery money. It would almost certainly encourage lawmakers to shortchange the veterans in their annual budgets.

Missouri legislators should stop giving tax breaks and favors to businesses and special interests and fully fund its veterans homes, schools and other essential services. A “no” vote on Aug. 5 would send that message quite effectively.