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Furthermore …

Welcome to your new ‘normal’

Best of luck to Cindy and Mark Hill, the unassuming couple from Missouri who won a bazillion dollars in the Powerball lottery and said they hope to live as normally as possible. True to form, they announced their win at their high school and promised to continue to go to the corner diner for breakfast.

But the experiences of one previous $200 million-plus winner would suggest that they also show much caution. Steven White, who won $213 million in 2004, told Fox News that within days after being announced the winner, more than 10,000 pieces of mail seeking money ended up at his post office. That doesn’t count the 500 or so packages delivered to his home from people who discovered his address.

As White pointed out, few people have the skills to “handle a $200 million business overnight.” He discussed relatives who won’t talk with him and a longtime friend who couldn’t stand to see him. “People change … when they know you won the lottery.”

A school-voucher setback

As Indiana awaits a state Supreme Court ruling on its school voucher law, Louisiana’s voucher law has suffered a setback. A Baton Rouge judge has declared it unconstitutional.

Judge Tim Kelley found the law passed by the Louisiana legislature was done in a valid and constitutional manner, but he ruled the diversion of funds to private entities from the state’s Minimum Foundation Program, which is used to calculate per-pupil allocations, was unconstitutional.

“Today’s ruling is wrongheaded and a travesty for parents across Louisiana who want nothing more than for their children to have an equal opportunity at receiving a great education,” charged Gov. Bobby Jindal.

But Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., had a different reaction.

“It is no surprise that State District Judge Tim Kelley today ruled the unnecessarily aggressive and overreaching statewide voucher program unconstitutional,” she said. “A strategic use of state-funded vouchers could be appropriate, but this diversion of public education dollars was a step too far and diminishes resources for meaningful reform efforts already under way at the local level.”

Indiana’s Supreme Court will issue its own opinion of the Hoosier state’s voucher law in the coming weeks.

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