The Daily Reflector, Greenville, N.C.: When, by a single tie-breaking vote cast by then-Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, the Legislature’s Democratic majority succeeded in pushing through establishment of a state lottery, the Republican majority howled in protest. They correctly predicted that promises of additional money for public education would be broken and that the proceeds would be devoted toward other areas of government.
Though Perdue, as governor, would prove that prediction accurate as she raided the lottery fund to balance her first budget proposal, it is the N.C. Senate — under Republican control — now seeking to eliminate the arrangement entirely. The budget approved last month would radically alter the application of lottery proceeds to public schools, thus fulfilling the GOP’s own prophesy.
With North Carolina’s economy reeling from the effects of the national recession, revenue collections plummeted in fiscal year 2008-09. So long as no impediment exists to prevent state lawmakers or the governor from diverting lottery funds, North Carolina can expect to see this approach repeated to the detriment of public education.