Archive for the ‘Lottery’ Category

B-b-b-but it’s for the Children

March 24, 2008

Remember how the state lottery was supposed to fix our state’s education budget? Remember how it didn’t work?

Well, now, Arkansas is thinking about doing something similar, and this has some Oklahoman’s worried that this could reduce state revenue from the lottery even further.

Two proposals failed to make it out of committee earlier this year, in which Jim Scroggins, the Oklahoma State Lottery Commissioner tried to get Oklahoma legislators to release the state mandate (currently 30% and soon 35%) on the funds, so that the lottery could compete better with surrounding states, which could, he hypothesised, actually increase the revenue to the state. Legislators were not convinced.

Effort Launched To Divert Lottery Money From Education

September 25, 2007

By Rep. Jason Murphey

In 2002, while campaigning for Governor, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry campaigned on a platform of financing Oklahoma public education through creation of the Oklahoma lottery. The lottery concept appears to have been presented to Oklahomans as a magic bullet to cure Oklahoma’s education challenges, not unlike the House Bill 1017 sales tax increase, which was also presented to Oklahoma voters as an education solution. The lottery was to provide $500 million to the education system.

It is in fact generating only about $70 million per year for public education. This represents about 14% of the money originally predicted. For instance, in fiscal year 2008 lottery revenue will make up only around 2% – 3% of the amount state government gives to the local school districts in Crescent, Guthrie and Edmond. Worse still, Oklahoma politicians, in their haste to spend the money, have incurred millions of dollars of long term debt that must be paid back out of those revenues. Read More

House Leader Opposes Education Funding Cut

March 27, 2007

House Speaker Pro Tempore Gus Blackwell vowed today to oppose a plan that would slash the amount of lottery funds going to state schools.

“Whether you voted to create the lottery or opposed it, everyone should agree that lottery funds are earmarked for education,” said Blackwell, R-Goodwell. “Because a majority of people voted this into law, I am sworn to uphold that law and oppose any effort to divert that money. And Governor Henry, as the state’s biggest lottery booster, must ensure its operations start living up to the promises he made to children, families and teachers.”

Oklahoma law requires that education programs receive 35 percent of lottery proceeds beginning in the third year of operation. However, Oklahoma Lottery Commission Executive Director Jim Scroggins recently said lawmakers should divert a significant portion of that money and use it to increase the size of lottery prizes.

The law already requires that at least 45 percent of lottery revenue be used for prizes with another 20 percent designated for administrative costs. If Scroggins’ plan goes into effect, millions of dollars will becut from school budgets to prop up the floundering lottery.

Because state law requires lottery money to be divided among numerous education programs, Oklahoma’s K-12 schools get just under 16 percent of gross lottery revenues.

“Think about it: Our K-12 public schools get less than 16 cents out of every $1 spent on a lottery ticket, and Director Scroggins thinks that’s too much,” Blackwell said.

Most of the lottery states that border Oklahoma provide just 24 percent to 29 percent of gross revenue for state programs, including education. Scroggins has suggested those states should be a model for Oklahoma.

“Oklahoma is one of the only states in the region that has committed a serious share of lottery funds to education,” Blackwell said. “I don’t think we should abandon that commitment just to help bureaucrats mask their failures.”

Due to declining performance critics believe is caused by poor management, lottery officials recently announced that that this year’s sales will total just $244 million instead of $413 million as originally promised. That means the state’s share for education programs fell from $124 million to just $83 million. The lost revenue has created budget problems for schools across the state and threatened teacher pay increases.

“Lottery sales have plummeted, which is exactly what opponents of the lottery predicted. This loss now hurts our school budgets and Director Scroggins wants to further cut their share of that declining dollar,” Blackwell said. “Our schools deserve better treatment.”

Thanks Brad!!

March 26, 2007

From The Dude Abides:

I would like to go ahead and thank Gov. Brad Henry. What am I thanking him for?? NOTHING!!

See Brad somehow limped into office thanks to a terribly ran campaign by Steve Largent. Brad was brilliant in a sense though. He knew that he could convince an under-educated population that a quick fix method to education was the only way to go. In a way Brad used a form of peer pressure. Remember the old line, “everyone else is doing it”??? Brad used that on Oklahomans like we were kids smoking cigs out behind the high school. Everyone else had the lotto, so why not here?

I’ll tell you why not here. There are a couple of reasons. One, we are a poor state. For the most part people here don’t have a lot of extra money to spend, which would help explain our current lottery shortfall. Two, all along Brad promised that lottery money would go to educaton in addition to money already allocated. He threw around numbers such as $300 million, but now we are looking at just over $80 million. Lottery critics cited numerous other states who had been told the same things and quoted the same numbers only to have the education fund raided. Guess what?? The critics were right. Read more…

Henry: "Don’t Call Me Lottery Governor"

March 5, 2007

Kent Bush
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA —

I heard Gov. Brad Henry speak recently and during questions afterwards he was addressed as the “lottery governor.”

Henry answered the question but pointed out that he would much prefer to be known as the “education governor.” Read more…

Henry: "Don’t Call Me Lottery Governor"

March 5, 2007

Kent Bush
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA —

I heard Gov. Brad Henry speak recently and during questions afterwards he was addressed as the “lottery governor.”

Henry answered the question but pointed out that he would much prefer to be known as the “education governor.” Read more…