In advance of the Aug. 5 primary elections next week, all five of the Constitutional Amendment proposals on the ballot were explained by state lawmakers during last week’s free watermelon feed sponsored by Newton County Republicans in Neosho’s Big Spring Park.

A Navy veteran, Charlie Davis, Dist. 162 state rep., Webb City, reported that Amendment No. 8 is a very simple, non-controversial ballot initiative. The ballot language reads: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to create a “Veterans Lottery Ticket” and to use the revenue from the sale of these tickets for projects and services related to veterans?

“The annual cost or savings to state and local governmental entities is unknown, but likely minimal. If sales of a veterans lottery game decrease existing lottery ticket sales, the profits of which fund education, there could be a small annual shift in funding from education to veterans’ programs.”

If approved, Davis noted that the Missouri Lottery Commission will develop a lottery ticket, and proceeds from that ticket will go to the Missouri Capitol Improvements Trust Fund.

“Here in the state of Missouri we have seven veterans homes,” Davis said. “Seven nursing homes that our men and women who have served this country so proudly have an opportunity to go to lay their head on a comfortable pillow before they go meet God.”

He said the state is working to provide an eighth veterans home, in Southwest Missouri, because with 1,350 residents in those home, another 1,850 are waiting to get in those homes.

“So this money will go to help pay for those homes, help pay for the maintenance, the upkeep, the electricity, things of that nature dealing with those homes,” he said.

Davis said he has never purchased a lottery ticket, but he will buy Veterans Lottery Tickets if voters make those available by approving Amendment No. 8.

Answering the question, “Why would anybody oppose this,” Davis responded. “The left is saying that it’s going to cut money from education, which I believe that’s an absolute lie. For the same reason I pointed out earlier, I’ve gone to veteran homes, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion halls, and so many of them said, ‘I have never bought a lottery ticket,’ but they said the same thing as I did, ‘I will buy a Veterans Lottery Ticket,’ so education I don’t believe is going to lose one dollar, but our veterans will gain that money from the tickets.”

Davis said this is a very important issue, as we have many veterans who are aging.

“For us to be able to provide a comfortable place for them to live out the rest of their lives in one of these homes, and then be able to inter them in one of our veterans cemeteries is the least we can do to honor those brave men and women,” he said.

This is the fourth in a series of explanations of the five statewide ballot initiatives voters will decide on Aug. 5. Details on Amendment No. 9 will be forthcoming in Friday’s edition of the Neosho Daily News.