Now that voters in Tennessee have told their legislators they want a state lottery, one lawmaker is looking to state educators like Chancellor Bill Stacy to help make decisions about lottery proceeds. Stacy joins 15 others, including chair Richard Rhoda, the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and John Shumaker, president of the University of Tennessee, on the Education Lottery Task Force, organized by state Senator Steve Cohen of Memphis. Cohen, who is a senior member of the Senate, has been given authority to name the task force on behalf of Lt. Governor John Wilder and House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh. Cohen will consider the recommendations of the group when he drafts the lottery legislation.

"This task force will study the lottery education programs in Georgia, Kentucky, Florida and other states and will use that knowledge to create the best education lottery program for Tennessee," Cohen said.

The task force will convene within the coming weeks to report its findings and recommendations to the Tennessee General Assembly by early February, according to Cohen.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to represent The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on the lottery committee. The mission of the committee will be to discover which entities will receive the funding, and how the money will be distributed. I have no preconceived notions," Stacy said.

The proposed lottery could mean funding for college scholarships, pre-kindergarten and after-school programs. Capital outlay projects could also be funded by the lottery.