If Amendment 8 passes in the August Primary Election, a new lottery ticket to fund veterans' programs will be created.
Currently, the proceeds made from lottery tickets in the Show-Me-State go toward public education. If the measure passes, Missouri will join four other states that have special lotteries for veteran services.
"The legislators put this measure on the ballot that would also allow for a veterans lottery in 2015 where the proceeds from the sale of that lottery ticket would go to veterans homes and programs that benefit veterans," said Dr. Randy Hagerty, a Professor of Political Science at Truman State University.
Those in support say this new lottery will help fund the seven veteran homes in the state.
"The obvious argument in favor of this is here you have these people who have sacrificed for our country, who have served their country, and we need to do everything that we can to see that they receive the care and attention that they deserve," added Hagerty.
Supporters also say that the special veteran lotteries in Illinois, Kansas and Iowa have raised millions of dollars to go towards funding special programs for those veterans. The lottery in the Show-Me-State began in 1986, and at that time, all proceeds went into the State General Fund. However, the passage of Amendment 11 in 1992 provided all net proceeds from the state lottery to be used solely to support public schools, colleges and universities. Those in opposition say the new veterans lottery will take away from existing state lottery sales which could mean a decrease in education funds.
"Much of the opposition to Amendment 8 has come from people in the education community and from people who want to protect our current lottery proceeds going toward education," said Hagerty.
If Amendment 8 is approved, the measure would take effect no later then July 1, 2015.