Monday, February 13, 2006

To scratch or not to scratch

Judge Henry Hight said today that he will rule later this week on whether the NC General Assembly approved a new state lottery unconstutinally. Arguing for the plaintiffs, former NC Supreme Court justice Robert Orr maintained that the lottery represents a tax revenue bill. Under the state constitution, any tax revenue legislation must be passed by roll-call votes on separate days. General Assembly leadership allowed one roll-call vote and a voice vote on the same day to approve the lottery. The state argued that the lottery is not a tax because its purchase is voluntary and therefore did not require separate-day votes. I'm no fan of state lotteries, especially the way this one was passed, but I'll concede a slight advantage to the state here. We'll now have to wait on Judge Hight. The state says it hopes to have everyone start scratching on March 30.

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