Blog

The Senate Bill was candid in its objectives

The Senate Bill was candid in its objectives. The bill would serve as a benchmark, setting a clear distinction between what is and what is not lawful in regards to the newly inaugurated state lottery. It would establish the Mississippi Lottery Corporation that would be set in charge of the State Lottery, with assistance from the Board of Directors (Legiscan, 2018). It would see through the establishment of a trust in which the proceeds from the lotteries would be placed. The bill also set precedents that would govern the vendors offering the services and goods needed to carry out the exercise (Legiscan, 2018). The Lottery Corporation would conduct criminal investigations to evaluate the backgrounds of potential vendors, retailers, and employees. The bill would provide a clear system for the disposition of returns from the sale (Legiscan, 2018). Clearly, the Senate Bill would look into all affairs pertaining to the new Mississippi lottery program, from the integrity of vendors and employees, management of the corporation, collection and disposition of money into the right channels.

The lottery program takes the form of a corporation managed by the Mississippi Lottery Corporation. The government recognized that the program would have unique operations that are intended to bring in profits. The corporation heads will be charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the program retained profitability, integrity and that it benefited all that participated (Mississippi House Of Representatives First Extraordinary Session, 2018). With the Senate’s approval, the governor would appoint five people to serve in the Board of Directors who shall join the State Commissioner of Revenue and the State Treasurer. Race, gender, geographical location, and other factors would be considered in these appointments to ensure diversity and equal representation of the people (Mississippi House Of Representatives First Extraordinary Session, 2018). The Mississippi Lottery Corporation would report to the Legislature, the Governor and to the people through a series of reports, disclosures and system audits.

Although it is very thorough and clear, the Senate Bill 2001 has had a number of amendments. It has had both minor tweaks to include or rule out certain phrases and major changes that change the course of the lottery revenues (Legiscan, 2018). Amendment 1 sought to revise section 43 to state that up to 30 June 2023, money generated by the lottery would be channeled into the State Highway Fund and placed at the discretion of the State Transportation Commission, to be used for renovations, repairs, and maintenance of the state’s bridges and highways (Legiscan, 2018). However, the Commission would be required to prioritize infrastructure programs started after 1 September 2018. Funds collected between 1 July 2023 and 1 July 2028 would be channeled into an Education Enhancement Fund to supplement the Classroom Supply Fund, and the Teacher and Assistant Teacher Supplementary Salary Fund, which will see teachers enjoy a $2,500 salary increment every year (Legiscan, 2018). The seventh amendment also provided for the financing of a Highway Patrol Trooper School. Clearly, the lottery funds would go a long way to fund projects that would otherwise strain the state’s resources. These changes have helped to set the future of the program to ensure that its revenues are channeled to productive projects that will benefit the entire state.

In conclusion, the establishment of a state-run lottery program in Mississippi beckons a new era in which the state will use resources got from its previously shunned system to fund its infrastructural projects. The state previously only allowed a few forms of gambling but came around, now establishing its own lottery under the Senate Bill 001. After a number of amendments to iron out some tweaks, the new Bill has created the Mississippi Lottery Commission to run the lottery program and to collect funds, channeling them to education, salary and infrastructural development programs. The state of Mississippi made a significant stride forward by enacting the MS SB2001 lottery. Not only did this move realize the dream of Representative Alyce Clarke, but it also created new avenues for raising much-needed revenues for the state. As clearly outlined in this paper, this bill will be critical in improving the state’s highway systems and also its education programs through the millions of dollars of revenue that it will generate. It took effect on the 1st of September, 2018, but it will still be a while before the first lottery tickets are sold in Mississippi. This is mainly because a lot still needs to be done to implement all of the provisions of the bill, including the creation of a fully staffed and functional Mississippi Lottery Corporation.