ATLANTA — Georgia State Rep. Sandra Scott (D-Rex) is betting that Georgia lottery players will chip in for homeless veterans.
Scott’s idea, as detailed in House Bill 14 and House Resolution 7, is to have the Georgia Lottery Corporation offer one or more games dedicated to helping homeless veterans. She envisions a scratch-off ticket for that purpose.
“As a former staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and a veteran who is involved in different organizations, it is crucial that we do the right thing for our homeless veterans,” Scott said.
The legislation would not divert funds from existing homelessness or veterans’ organizations, she added, nor would it take away HOPE scholarship funds.
HB 14 is before the House Appropriations Committee and would allow the Georgia Lottery Corporation to offer one or more lottery games to assist homeless military veterans in Georgia. Proceeds would go into the state’s general fund. From there, the governor would make specific recommendations on how best to appropriate the funds for ending homelessness, preventing near-term homelessness and providing veterans with safe and secure living conditions.
HR 7 would create a companion constitutional amendment, giving the General Assembly the power to appropriate those lottery proceeds for the benefit of homeless veterans.
Cosponsors of both measures include Rep. Rhonda Burnough (D-Riverdale), Rep. Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain), Rep. Sharon Beasley-Teague (D-Red Oak), Rep. Sheila Nelson (D-Augusta), and Rep. Park Cannon (D-Atlanta).
“Georgia has thousands of veterans, and they should not be forced to sleep in cars on the streets when we are capable of creating something that could ultimately end veteran homelessness,” Scott said. “We should let the people decide whether they would support a lottery ticket that would help put an end to veteran homelessness in Georgia.”
The Clayton County Board of Commissioners named Scott its Veteran of the Month at its Feb. 5 meeting.