Amendment 8 will be before Missouri voters Aug. 5, but hardly any publicity has been given to it. On the surface, it appears to have merit to benefit veterans.
According to Secretary of State Jason Kander, the state’s chief election official, the revenue from the sale of veterans lottery tickets would be used for projects and services for veterans.
Veterans certainly would buy lottery tickets with revenue dedicated to services to help them. There would be a shift by veterans from buying other lottery tickets so an anticipated drop in those sales could affect other programs, even education, Kander’s office surmises. The shift would be small, his office believes.
It is like any other new government program. As long as there is accountability and the revenue is used as intended, this new lottery could help veterans. However, administrative costs would have to have sound oversight.
As Missourians know, lotteries bring in revenue, lots of it. What is lacking the most in services to veterans is health care. The Veterans Affairs health care system is a federal program and is engulfed in a scandal right now. In fact, health care for veterans has had problems for years, with long wait periods, and inadequate services for countless veterans. It must be pointed out, however, that some veterans have expressed satisfaction with the care they received. How new revenue for veterans services in the state would affect their health care is an unknown.
The amendments prior to the election will be published in The Missourian. There will be detailed information at that time.