Sparks backing state lottery for education

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ron Sparks announced on Thursday that he will be backing a state lottery to fund college scholarships. "State lotteries are educating the little children of Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. Every year Alabamians are spending educating the children of other states."

Sparks lottery would be called LifeStart Scholarship Lottery.
The state agriculture commissioner says high school graduates with a C-average will be able to apply to any state university, community college or technical college. "Whether a child wants to be a PH'd or a pipe fitter. A Lifestart Scholarship will make their dream a reality."

A number of Alabama voters say they want a second shot at a lottery. "Sounds good. We need education. Without education the youth is no where today," says Leonard Pass.

"The money is going out any way. If it can be controlled in a way to make sense. I feel like it would help Birmingham and the state of Alabama," says Myles Smith.

"I think anything for scholarships in the state of Alabama should be considered," says Daryl Harris.

But not everyone agrees. "I'm not sure a lottery is what we ought to do. That's getting in the gambling scene. I don't think we ought to go with a lottery," says Thomas Scarborough.

Sparks also announced he will support local counties voting on if they want casino or electronic bingo gambling. "I believe gambling should be taxed. Our state is sending hundreds of millions of dollars to other states."

Sparks chief Democratic opponent, Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, had this to say about the Sparks plan - "What Alabamians are hearing from Sparks is nothing but the old Alabama politics--the same old sound bites, fuzzy math, and not bold new plans that challenge us to move forward."