Arkansas bill to keep lottery winner names secret fails

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP)   An effort to keep the identities of some lottery winners secret has failed in the Arkansas House.

The proposal to allow winners of more than $500,000 in the state lottery to keep their identities confidential failed in the House on a 39-30 vote on Tuesday. The sponsor of the measure said the bill was aimed at protecting lottery winners' safety.

Among the House delegation from North Central Arkansas, Representatives Nelda Speaks of Mountain Home, Jack Fortner of Yellville and John Payton of Wilburn voted against the measure. Michelle Gray of Melbourne and Marsh Davis of Cherokee Village were among the state's 25 representatives who did not vote.

The measure was opposed by media groups who said keeping the information secret would prevent the public from knowing if there was any misconduct in the state lottery.

The bill is among several proposals to scale back Arkansas' public records law that legislators are considering.

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