OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) –An Oklahoma state representative filed a measure to change where money from the lottery goes.
State Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-OKC, has proposed HJR 1049 to direct the Secretary of State to refer to the people for their approval or rejection of a state constitution amendment that would put money meant for education from the lottery directly into a trust fund, rather than the General Revenue Fund.
"People ask me all the time, where is the education lottery money? Can't that be used to give our teachers a pay raise?" questioned Rep. Morrissette. "I see that lottery ticket sales are stagnant or down overall. I don't think people believe we are doing the right thing with their money."
The proposed trust fund, the "Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund," would consist of funds from the Oklahoma Education Lottery. That money, in turn, would only be expended for one of 10 purposes:
- Kindergarten through twelfth grade public education, including but not limited to compensation and benefits for public school teachers and support employees;
- Early childhood development programs;
- Tuition grants, loans and scholarships to citizens of this state to enable such citizens to attend colleges and universities located within this state which are accredited by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education or to attend institutions operated under the authority of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education;
- Construction of educational facilities for elementary school districts, independent school districts, the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, and career and technology education;
- Capital outlay projects for elementary school districts, independent school districts, the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, and career and technology education;
- Technology for public elementary school district, independent school district, state higher education, and career and technology education facilities;
- Endowed chairs for professors at institutions of higher education operated by the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education;
- Programs and personnel of the Oklahoma School for the Deaf and the Oklahoma School for the Blind;
- The School Consolidation and Assistance Fund; and
- The Teachers' Retirement System Dedicated Revenue Revolving Fund.
You can read the full text of House Joint Resolution 1049 here.