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Governor Easley wants lottery money diverted

Posted Friday, March 2, 2007

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Raleigh, NC - One year after the passage of North Carolina’s lottery, Governor Easley wants to reduce the percentage of lottery proceeds going to education. Now he has announced plans to redirect lottery funds for school construction and need based scholarships to his pet pre-school program, More at Four. School construction statewide would receive $43 million less than anticipated and, although no lottery scholarships have been handed out yet, $10 million would be diverted from the scholarship program.

Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-District 26) issued the following statement:

“The only good thing anyone could say about North Carolina’s lottery saga is that ‘a few more dollars were going to education.’ After just one year, Governor Easley is breaking his promise to North Carolinians by reducing lottery funding for education from 35 percent to 29 percent of lottery proceeds. To make matters worse, he is reducing lottery funding for school construction and college scholarships by over $50 million dollars.

“Around the state, county governments are struggling to keep up with the need for new school buildings. This misguided proposal is likely to force county governments to raise property taxes to meet school building needs.

“North Carolina’s lottery should not become a slush fund for gubernatorial pet projects. Recent studies have shown that students in More at Four and Smart Start are not showing the success in improving long term academic performance. It makes no sense to divert much needed education dollars from school construction and scholarships.”

Senator Berger, House Republican Leader Paul Stam and other Republican members of the General Assembly will have additional comments and observations on the Governor’s education plans on Tuesday morning at 10:30 in the Legislative Press Room.

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Governor Easley wants lottery money diverted
North Carolina’s lottery, Governor Easley has announced plans to redirect lottery funds for school construction.
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