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Nixon: Decline in Lottery, Gaming Revenues Leads to Education Funding Shortfall

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File photo of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. (Photo by MIRA OBERMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo: MIRA OBERMAN/AFP/Getty Images

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) - Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that revenues from lottery and riverboat gaming have continued their steep decline, resulting in an additional estimated shortfall of $35.1 million for the current 2014 Fiscal Year, which ends June 30. These revenue sources are exclusively dedicated to education per Missouri law, and their decrease will directly affect school funding in these final weeks of the fiscal and academic year.

“Funding shortfalls from sources dedicated for education require that I take the appropriate action to keep our state on a fiscally responsible path that reflects our commitment to Missouri’s students,” Gov. Nixon said.

Gov. Nixon’s Fiscal Year 2014 supplemental budget request included $44 million in general revenue to make up for shortages from riverboat gaming, lottery and other sources dedicated to education. Even though the Governor and State Budget Director Linda Luebbering repeatedly communicated with members of the House and Senate about the need to include this funding, the supplemental budget passed included only $22 million. The resulting $22 million shortfall was allocated in April.

Since then, revenue from lottery and riverboat gaming funds have continued to decline, resulting in an even larger than anticipated shortfall for the current fiscal year. The Governor announced that he would allocate the additional funding shortfall in the following manner: $10.5 million from four-year higher education institutions and $24.6 million from the K-12 foundation formula.

In light of this accelerating trend, the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget adjusted expectations for these revenue sources. However, the General Assembly’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget failed to account for this trend and anticipated an additional $15 million from riverboat gaming above the Governor’s recommendation.

“We will continue to monitor these funding sources for the upcoming 2015 Fiscal Year,” Gov. Nixon said. “We remain concerned about the legislature’s optimistic riverboat gaming revenue assumptions, assumptions which ignore trends and place schools at continued risk.”

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