ROCKINGHAM — One legislator is looking to make the North Carolina Education Lottery pay out more for its intended purpose.
State Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, introduced a bill Wednesday intended to “restore the lottery’s revenue distribution to its original formula and prohibits the transfer of lottery funds from education to other government operations,” according to a press release.
“We need more accountability in our State Lottery,” Goodman said in a statement. “Voters need to know how the money is being spent. We need to have more accountability, transparency and fiscal responsibility with the lottery funds.”
He added that this bill is his attempt to make good on a campaign promise.
House Bill 298 requires that 50 percent of state lottery funds go to class-size reduction, 40 percent for the Public School Building Capital Fund and 10 percent for State Educational Assistance to pay for college and university scholarships.
If net revenues exceed the amount appropriated in a fiscal year, the remaining revenue will be split 50/50 between the Public School Building Capital Fund and the State Educational Assistance Authority.
“The voters and citizens across North Carolina need to know how the State Lottery is spending their money,” Goodman said. “The voters were told lottery funding would go to the benefit of education. We need to make sure we get back to the original promise, ensuring lottery funds go to help our students and educators — not diverted to other government programs. That’s the entire focus of this legislation.”
The lottery’s website features a graph of how funds were spent:
- 57 percent on non-instructional staff
- 19 percent on school construction
- 12 percent on Pre-K
- 6 percent on LEA transportation
- 4 percent on need-based college scholarships
- 2 percent on UNC need-based financial aid
Richmond County received $3,199,976 with the following beakdown:
- $1,813,327 for non-instructional support
- $542,146 for Pre-K
- $499,438 for school construction
- $186,786 for transportation
- $111,965 for college scholarships
The bill already has bipartisan support in the House, with Reps. Howard Hunter, D-Hertford, Allen McNeil, R-Randolph, and James Boles, R-Moore, signing on as primary sponsors.
Other sponsors include Reps. Elmer Floyd, D-Cumberland, Chris Humphrey, R-Lenoir, Terry Garrison, D-Vance, Frank Iler, R-Brunswick, Keith Kidwell, R-Beaufort, and Michael Wray, D-Northampton.