Lottery bill moved to Senate floor

By Kathy Helms-Hughes


   The week before the Easter holiday was relatively quiet in Nashville, but some advancement was made in the Tennessee General Assembly toward working out details on a state lottery.
   "The Senate Finance Committee, the other day, did send it out to the floor of the Senate in a way that we wanted," said state Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City. The committee equalized the amount of money which would be distributed to students, regardless of whether they attend public or private school.
   "If you go to Milligan College, you're going to get the same $4,000 that you get to go to ETSU [East Tennessee State University]. We got that worked out," he said.
   Each student would be eligible to receive the money if they maintained a "B" average. "You have to have a 3.0 grade average and a 19 on your ACT," said Crowe.
   The Senate Finance Committee also took the cap off of the income level, "so that if you and your husband make $100,000, you still get the $4,000. When people voted on that, millionaires voted to pass it; it didn't say that if you're rich, you didn't get it.
   "If your child works hard and gets a B average, they get it," Crowe said.
   On Nov. 5, 2002, Tennessee citizens voted to remove the state constitutional prohibition of a state lottery, thereby granting the General Assembly the authority to create one.