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Bill in MO House Would Strip Funding For State Lottery

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -  A Missouri House budget proposal released Tuesday would eradicate much of the money available to advertise the state lottery – a move critics say could also have a negative impact on funding for education.

The proposal from the House Budget Committee would reduce the Missouri Lottery’s advertising budget from $9.3 million this year to $1 million during the 2012 fiscal year that begins July 1.

The balance would be transferred to an education fund, where a portion of the lottery’s proceeds already goes.

Lottery Director May Scheve said a reduction in advertising would result in fewer lottery sales, leading to an estimated $24 million loss for education funding.

She said the lottery is projected to send $259 million in proceeds to schools this year, but that the amount would fall to $235 million next year if the House approves the cut.

“It will directly impact the dollars that go to the state’s schools,” Scheve said of the proposed cut.

Other committee members also expressed concern.

“It’s not fair to cut their advertising budget and expect them to increase” the revenues transferred to education, said Rep.
Dwight Scharnhorst, R-St. Louis.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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