Missouri Representative Wants Lottery Put to a VoteWednesday October 1st 2014
The recent controversy over the Missouri Lottery has triggered a debate about its very existence. Representative John Diehl, the incoming Speaker of the House, has said that he wants to put a referendum on the 2016 ballot to let voters decide whether or not they want to keep the lottery.
Citing concerns that the Lottery has been “inefficient”, Diehl hopes to start a state-wide discussion about how money raised through ticket sales is spent. State policy makers are currently debating the issue, and while some are in favor of doing away with the Lottery altogether, others are concerned that the loss of funding for education would be disastrous. State senator Joe Keaveny remarked that the gap would have to be filled by pulling funding from other vital programs.
Governor Jay Nixon replaced the Missouri Lottery’s commissioners after an audit earlier this year revealed that less money was being allocated to educational initiatives while profits had increased. Ticket sales for 2013 reached an impressive $1.15 billion but only $267.3 million was transferred to elementary, secondary and higher education programs. Nixon hopes that the new commissioners will be able to increase the amount of revenue transferred to schools across the state.
The Missouri Lottery also funds virtual schools, the construction of university and college buildings, scholarships for college students and programs that benefit those with special educational needs. If the Lottery is dissolved, then other state programs would feel the hit as money is pulled from their coffers and transferred to other services.
Lottery.net will keep you updated with all the latest news regarding the future of the Missouri Lottery, so be sure to check back here for updates.