State Reps. Jamie Boles and Allen McNeill introduced legislation Tuesday that could restore the amount of money school districts originally received from the state lottery when it was created in 2005.
The bill, called Restore Lottery Revenue Distribution Structure, would remove the General Assembly from appropriating money left over after accounting for prizes and expenses. Instead, the Lottery Commission would distribute the remainder of the net revenue, adhering to a set formula:
* 50 percent of that leftover money would go toward lowering class sizes in early grades;
* 40 percent would go to the Public School Building Capital Fund; and
* 10 percent would go toward funding college and university scholarships.
“As you all know I have never been in favor of the lottery,” said Boles, a Southern Pines Republican who represents most of Moore County. “The counties were led to believe, under false pretense, that this would solve the construction issues that we have. It was voted in on one premise and hasn’t lived up to it.
“We share the counties’ view that they were relying on these dollars for school construction. Whether this bill passes or not, it is to raise the awareness of what the original intent of the lottery was.”
Boles noted that the amount of lottery revenues allocated for school construction has gone from the original 40 percent to 17 percent in fiscal year 2015.
“We want to keep school construction as a priority,” Boles said. “That is one of the issues I have been hearing from counties. Our commissioners have said construction is a priority. I have listened to them and address their concerns.”