Friday, May 19, 2006

Ensuring ALL Lottery Proceeds Go To Education

I joined 20 House Democrats at a news conference on Wednesday morning to discuss two bills they say will ensure that schools get as much money as possible from the new North Carolina Education Lottery. One proposal (HB 2212, Lottery Oversight Committee) would create a new lottery oversight board made up of legislators, educators and other public citizens to ensure that all lottery proceeds are used for education. I sponsored this bill along with Reps. Bernard Allen (D-Wake), Hugh Holliman (D-Davidson), and Bill Owens (D-Pasquotank). This oversight board will keep a close eye on education spending and will ensure that all lottery proceeds are dedicated to early childhood education, reducing class size, school construction, and college scholarships as the Legislature intended.

Another proposal (HB 1991, Tax on Lottery Winnings/Community College Equipment) would use the 7 percent withheld for state taxes from lottery winnings of $600 or more to buy equipment for community colleges. This would be keeping with the Legislature’s promise that all revenue from the lottery will go towards education. Bill sponsors Reps. Doug Yongue (D-Scotland), Joe Tolson (D-Edgecombe) and Maggie Jeffus (D-Guilford) said those withholdings could reach $15 million to $25 million annually.

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