Texas lawmakers are again discussing the possibility of ending the state's lottery system. A joint committee came out of last session when the Legislature nearly eliminated the lottery then.
State Rep. Garnet Coleman is among a handful of local lawmakers appointed to the committee, and he's a longtime critic of the lottery.
“Lottery money is stagnate, we raised the same billion dollars in the early 1990s, nothing more per year,” the Houston Democrat tells KTRH News. “So in terms of the lottery being a solution for public education, its not.”
Sugar Land Republican Rick Miller has his own concerns.
“How effective is this? How much money is going to the school fund? What's the overhead for this administration?” Miller asks.
Coleman and others believe the lottery is just another form of gambling which preys on the poor.
“What the lottery has had to do is create more games that have a worse chance of winning, and get the people who play to play more and more,” he says.
Miller believes there is some truth to that.
“It is what might be considered a tax on the poor,” he says. “How they look at it and do they have the resources to participate, that is a question. But it is still a personal choice.”
The committee must report its findings and recommendations by December 1.
With temperatures approaching or passing triple digits, the threat of heat exhaustion or heat stroke becomes all-too-real in Houston. Hallucinations, confusion or slurred speech are some of the symptoms. Dr. James Pinckney says the first thing you do is call 9-1-1.
“Then, the next important thing is to get them immersed in some kind of ice bath or very cold water, because this is life-threatening,” Pinckney says. “Every second matters and you have to get that core temperature down as soon as possible.”
You will notice the symptoms.
“If someone is hallucinating, they're confused, they have slurred speech -- then you want to look out for heat stroke,” the doctor says. “Their core temperature is going to be elevated.”
He says, in addition to fluid, it is important to remember that salt intake is very important when you're dealing with dehydration.