Parker Griffith on Education
In 1999, Alabama voters rejected a lottery to pay for scholarships, pre-kindergarten and school technology. Griffith believes that voters would support a lottery now, and already buy lottery tickets in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida that fund education in those states. "We want them to stay here," Griffith said. "I think people understand that gaming is happening all around Alabama." Griffith said that pre-kindergarten would be one of the recipients of funding from his new education lottery.
Bentley said he does not think a lottery is the best way to fund government & that he would oppose earmarking such funds for specific purposes. He also said, "I have never been opposed to allowing people to vote on anything, and that includes a lottery."
The 30-second spot repeats what has become a standard refrain from the Griffith campaign, namely that the only thing standing between Alabama and a brighter future is Republican Gov. Robert Bentley.
Griffith is hoping that his support for a lottery does for his campaign what it did for former Gov. Don Siegelman in 1998 when then Lt. Gov. Siegelman defeated Republican Gov. Fob James. Democrat Siegelman campaigned promising that if elected he would push for a vote on a lottery to support schools.
Siegelman won and the Legislature, then in the hands of Democrats, approved a vote for a lottery. The public overwhelmingly rejected it in 1999.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Rep. BETSY MARKEY (D, CO-4): This legislation will improve the learning environment for our children, reduce energy costs and create new jobs across the country. Green schools not only save school districts money but also teach the importance of sustainable living to children at a young age.
Opponent's argument to vote No: Rep. GLENN THOMPSON (R, PA-5): We all know our Nation is drowning in a sea of red ink. The bill we're debating today would add an estimated $40 billion in new spending. And despite the majority's hollow promises of fiscal responsibility, there's nothing in the legislation to offset this hefty price tag with spending reductions elsewhere. This is just more of the same borrow and spend, spend and borrow policy that we've seen under this majority and this administration.