Local Politics

Easley Could Face Long Odds to Redirect Lottery Money

Posted March 7, 2007

— Gov. Mike Easley would like to shift more lottery proceeds to an early childhood education program, and the suggestion is quickly drawing heat from state lawmakers.

Easley recently was criticized for his suggestion that more lottery revenue be paid out in prizes as a way to attract more players and generate more money for the state. Now, he is taking another political gamble by proposing that more lottery revenue to go to his More-At-Four preschool program and to reduce student-teacher ratios.

"For those recurring expenditures, it only makes sense. You're going to have to pay those teachers every single year. You want to make sure those are covered first," Easley said.

The revised formula has hit a wall of resistance from many lawmakers. They said local constituents are begging for more school construction money.

"He puts more money into his pet program and less money to counties, less money for college scholarships," House Minority Leader Phil Berger said. "I don't think a whole lot of it."

Easley said other sources of revenue are available for school construction needs, such as bond issues.

Noting the lottery barely passed through the General Assembly two years ago, Rep. Jim Crawford, D-Granville, said changing it wouldn't be easy, especially when revenues are unpredictable.

"Putting it on the table could be very dangerous," Crawford said. "The governor wants to take money out of the General Fund now to back-fill or to put money into these two programs if the lottery isn't going to produce that money. That's something we're going to have to look at very closely."

Lottery officials announced Tuesday that the state-run numbers games has awarded $403 million in prizes so far, including a $74 million Powerball jackpot won by a Halifax woman. Eighty-seven people won at least $100,000.

Easley built lottery revenues into his budget, so the battle over the lottery funding formula will continue as long as lawmakers pick apart the budget.


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  • Watcher Of Things Mar 10, 2007

    Gimme gimme gimme .... it won't stop - to many sheeple around the voting booths

  • mvnull Mar 9, 2007

    "Easley said other sources of revenue are available for school construction needs, such as bond issues." Bonds are not revenue. They are money up front, but they will eventually have to be paid off from *real* sources of revenue. He's a product of NC education -- it makes you wonder....

  • No Quarter Mar 8, 2007

    The lottery is a supplement. It's money NC didn't have last year, so even if the lottery is short by $500M, it's still money that NC didn't have. There's really no room to complain. Plus, too many people try to compare NC's lottery to neighboring states that already have had lotteries for years-that's apples and bowling balls.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Mar 8, 2007

    More at Four is a proven failure. In typical big government Democrat fashion, Easley's solution is to throw more money at the failure hoping that more money will fix the problems.

    Easley needs to quit funding his socialist and social re-engineering efforts and put the money back into the highway trust fund that he misappropriated the money from in the first place.

  • blueridgelab Mar 8, 2007

    "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Did anyone really ever think the lottery would be the answer to funding education in NC?

    And how much do the lottery officials make in salary?

  • El Doggo Mar 8, 2007

    More slight of hand with our tax dollars???

  • LL4U Mar 8, 2007

    It is what it is - a boondoggle from the start. It took the Jim Black/Easley braintrust to pick exactly which day to cast the votes so Lt.Gov Perdue could make the deciding vote to pass this charade!! Black is being fitted for his custom design orange jumpsuit, Easley is on the way out and Perdue is hoping to get in - or NOT!!

  • tarheel1980 Mar 8, 2007

    Patriot4; I don't think that the point of this discussion is the worthiness of the after school program. We can save that for another day. My concern is that the Governor was unethical in getting the lottery passed and now is trying to use the money for purposes other than we were told.

    This happens everytime we give the politicians more money. They lie and cheat to get it, and then spend it on whatever they want to.

  • yacs Mar 8, 2007

    "we do not inherit the world from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children."

    patriot4liberty, that's one of my all-time favorite sayings. Didn't it come from Native Americans? Anyway, I was just repeating that one to my kindergartener the other night. He's very concerned about littering, and out of the blue while he was getting ready for bed, he commented on how people who throw their trash on the ground are not showing respect for the earth. I thought that was a perceptive observation for a five-year-old, but I'm a little biased in that respect. ;-) So I told him about that saying and he considered it for a moment before he looked at me and said, "Can I draw for a while before I go to sleep?" So much for my lesson....

  • yacs Mar 8, 2007

    nc609, ColeFan and RedStatesManWatts, thanks for your responses. I really am interested in this, and wasn't trying to stir up another controversy/debate/shoutting match. RedStatesMan, you're right -- that happens a lot on these boards!

    If you want to say more, please feel free to e-mail me (javas4sippin@yahoo.com) with details. I'm especially interested in scriptural evidence. I admit I've been involved in some debates about how to interpret the Bible, but that's not what I'm looking for here, I promise! Rather, I've heard only a small part of the argument and am genuinely interested in the rest of it and the evidence.

    Meanwhile, I'll take nc609's advice and look some of this up online. I've seen some decent sites on the Bible that allow a user to search by topics like this.

    But now, I gotta get back to work! (nc609, I don't know if gambling could be more addictive to me than these boards!)