Catching Up (Jeff Hankins Publisher's Note)

by Jeff Hankins  on Monday, Nov. 5, 2007 12:00 am  

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter reworks lottery proposal.

As much as I would like to see more money for higher education and scholarships, I can't get excited about a lottery for Arkansas.

Two years ago, I wrote a column (visit based on a study about lotteries by Tom Garrett of the Federal Reserve Bank at St. Louis. The results make a strong case against Arkansas pursuing this means for more revenue. Revenue levels are volatile, there's more competition for gambling dollars and the total payout rate is substantially lower for lotteries than for casinos.

Feasibility study approved to determine whether the River Rail system should be extended to Little Rock National Airport.

Prior to construction of the existing rail in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock, I was open to the concept of including the airport in the master plan. Now I say forget about it.

The River Rail is a tourist attraction at best. It's useless for anyone other than tourists to get around downtown in a timely fashion.

When you can get from the airport to a downtown hotel by cab in 10 minutes or less, there's no justification for a rail connection. Let's save travelers from the lovely scenery of east Little Rock, let the federal dollars go toward some other pork project and put whatever local matching funds would be used into county jail operations.

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