It’s time for a lottery in Mississippi

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 19, 2017

Each year members of Mississippi’s Legislature deny requests from state agencies for funding because they say there’s not enough money.

At times the Legislature’s remedy for this problem is to raise taxes. Other times their suggestion is to cut funding.

As Gov. Phil Bryant pointed out in his recent speech, Mississippi residents are crossing state lines to buy lottery tickets. That means this state is missing out on millions in funding that could not only fix the budgeting problem, but also provide an outlet to cut taxes to residents.

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In his speech, he said that the neighboring state of Arkansas received $80 million in lottery funding, some of which came from the Mississippi residents crossing state lines to buy tickets.

Here in Pearl River County, anyone interested in the lottery has about a 20 minute drive to Louisiana to do the same thing. At any given time most of the tags in the parking lots of businesses just across the bridge in St. Tammany Parish say “Pearl River County.”.

That’s a lot of our dollars being spent in to Louisiana.

Mississippi is one of only six states in the United States that does not have a lottery. Far too often this state is listed as the worst in so many categories.

From diabetes, poor education and unemployment, additional funding to the state would trickle down to each community, allowing local leaders to use that additional funding to improve infrastructure, education system and attract more businesses to improve the employment rate.

It’s our hope that Bryant will be successful in convincing the rest of the state’s leaders to jump on board with the rest of the nation.

Not only will a lottery provide people with a shot at winning, most of all it will give our lawmakers one less excuse to fully fund every state agency and most of all education.