Around the legislature:
* LOTTERY: A Senate committee today approved Sen. Jimmy Hickey’s bill to abolish the existing Lottery Commission, put commission appointments under the governor’s control and move the independent agency into the state Department of Finance and Administration.
* PULASKI SCHOOLS: The House Education Committee refused approval for Rep. Mark Lowery’s bill to make it easier for Maumelle and Sherwood to remove themselves from the Pulaski County School District, as Jacksonville has done. He came under questioning about educational reasons for the change (the Education Department hasn’t studied it) and about racial considerations. Removal of those two suburban communities would leave most of the remaining Pulaski district south of the Arkansas River, with a cluster of heavily minority communities in poorly maintained schools in the southeastern part of the county.
* HIGHWAY MONEY: As ever, a bill has been filed to divert general revenue — sales tax on vehicle sales and other auto equipment — to highway construction.