The Guv has released his budget and it looks like the lottery is expected to do both more and less for education this year. Easley expects lottery revenues of $1.5 billion in the next fiscal year (that's the "more" part). Doesn't that sound nice? Never mind that this year's lottery revenues are already falling short of projections, leading to education getting almost $100 million less than expected. This new plan is really going to work! How? Easley would like the legislature to decrease the percentage of revenue dedicated to education (from 35 to 29%, the "less" part of our program) and increase the amount spent on prizes (from 52 to 59%). If you're unclear on how that is going to lift sagging ticket sales, you're not alone. Hey, not even Tom Shaheen can tell us why they are sagging.
Of course, Easley got the legislature to pass the lottery, in the ugliest manner possible, so maybe they won't ask too many questions this time either. On the other hand, the legislature is looking a lot different than it did 18 months ago – though you wouldn't have known it from the Governor's State of the State speech – so perhaps someone on Jones St. will stop feeling as though they have to do his bidding.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.