Friday, February 17, 2006

Lottery Money and the General Fund

I heard a bit of this on the radio the other day but between planting potatoes and hanging paneling I hadn't got a chance to read about it till today on WWAY TV 3. I've searched for more sources but haven't had much luck. So here is the 2 articles I did find about the subject.


Lottery revenue money to replace some school funds
Feb 15, 2006, 04:59 PM

Some people across the state are saying I told you so. They're reacting to word from the Governor's office that profits from the state lottery will go into the general fund to replace money in the education budget. Not add to it. That could mean less money to help with things like school construction and scholarships.

"Things have seemed to take quite a turn for the worse right now," Steve Bilizi said.

New Hanover County School Board member, Steve Bilzi has said from the beginning the lottery was never a good idea for North Carolina.

"If it was what it was supposed to be, it would be wonderful," Bilzi said. "Things like this if it sounds too good to be true it really is."

Mr. Bilzi says he's disappointed to hear there's a possibility revenue from the lottery could just replace current education spending and not add to it.

"There are going to be an awful lot of upset people and there should be, should be I hope, there's an awful lot of legislators upset that they just let this...shim, sham..this flam, sham job go through in Raleigh the way it did," Bilzi said.

There are. Local republican house member Carolyn Justice is one.

"That's absolutely contradictory of what we were told was going to happen to the funds," Justice said..

Representative Justice says the bill she voted for did not allow for new money to be put in place of already spent funds. It targeted half of the revenue to school construction, and a smaller amount for other education programs like scholarships.

Ms. Justice thinks the bill changed when it went into the budget.

"It's a major disappointment for me," Justice said.

She says she would not pass it again.

In a statement, Governor Mike Easley defended the talk.

"Education lottery money will supplement, not supplant existing spending for education and I will not recommend nor sign legislation that reduces the state's spending for education."

Senator Julia Boseman says she does not support it as she hears it now. She tells NewsChannel 3, for this to happen, this would have to go before the House and Senate for a vote. She and other legislators said they will not support money not going more for education.


Easley says public not misled by lottery legislation
Feb 17, 2006, 08:29 AM

Governor Easley says the public was not misled by legislation that put a statewide lottery in place last year.

The lottery bill Easley signed in August contained a requirement that the gambling proceeds would add to existing school revenue.

But the state budget Easley says he signed two weeks earlier contained lottery provisions that deleted that obligation if the lottery bill ultimately became law.

Easley told The Associated Press after a speech at Duke University Thursday that it's not supplanting existing education money because the lottery money will go toward new programs, such as pre-kindergarten and school construction.

Easley says his new budget will include at least this year's amount for education plus the lottery money.

The governor also says he won't sign a budget that cuts state spending because of lottery revenues.

posted by David at 3:22 PM :: Permalink ::

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