Rep. Jonathan Dismang (R-Beebe) has asked the Bureau of Legislative Research to conduct a comprehensive comparison of lottery salaries, both in Arkansas and other lottery states, that takes into account the state’s population, lottery revenues, director’s pay, staff salaries, etc.  Dismang said he expects to see a finished report by the end of next week.  He says he asked for the comparison because his constituents are concerned.  “I think it’s going to be good for everybody to have this information and be able to look at it comprehensively,” he says.   

As reported in this week’s issue of the Times, criticism and concern are starting to mount over salaries awarded to lottery staff, especially in relation to comparable state jobs in other agencies.  Executive Director Ernie Passailaigue says higher salaries are warranted given the long hours the staff will work and because it takes a little extra to lure highly qualified employees to the state (i.e. two VP positions that will earn $225,000).  Lottery officials also maintain the games will be run more like a business than a typical state agency.

Don’t forget to take a look at this week’s editorial and a great column from Ernest Dumas that provides a little perspective on the issue.