Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
CARSON CITY — The Nevada Youth Legislature are pushing for a state lottery to help finance the public schools.
The Youth Legislature, made up of 21 high-school-age students, is sponsoring a Senate Joint Resolution in the 2011 Legislature to amend the Nevada Constitution to allow a state lottery. It will be the first resolution introduced in the Senate that gets under way Feb. 7.
But a lottery faces an uphill battle.
Gov. Brian Sandoval opposes a lottery, and the gaming industry has lobbied against one in the past.
State Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, is chairman of the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections that will introduce the resolution. He also noted that the casino industry has opposed a lottery in the past. But he said he will give a hearing to Senate Joint Resolution 1 and see where it goes.
He said it takes five years to amend the constitution. The resolution must be approved by two sessions of the Legislature and then ratified by voters.
Sandoval has said a lottery probably won’t raise the money anticpated by supporters for public schools, and he opposes government competing with private industry.
The plan by the youth Legislature would allow a lottery to be operated by or on behalf of the state with the proceeds going to K-12 education.
The resolution would require the Legislature to set up a committee to oversee the lottery and how the money is distributed. The Youth Legislature is allowed to introduce at least one bill.