Does revenue from the sale of lottery tickets go to support education in Texas?
The Texas House spent over 20 hours this weekend reviewing and debating the budget that covers state spending for 2012 to 2013. The House passed the bill Sunday night.
The more than 800-page budget is controversial because it includes deep cuts to state education funding.
People are looking everywhere for funds to fix the state’s budget shortfall -- including the Texas Lottery.
One KVUE viewer e-mailed me wondering if the Texas Lottery gives its proceeds to education like she had read.
Robert “Bobby” Heith, Media Relations Director for the Texas Lottery, says that is one of the questions he gets most often. He was happy to report that the answer is “yes.”
Since the first ticket was sold in 1992, the Texas Lottery has been giving a portion of its proceeds back to the state. At first money was funneled back into a fund called the General Revenue Fund. Then in 1997, the Texas Legislature dedicated revenue from the Texas Lottery to the Foundation School Fund (FSF). Heith says the Texas Lottery has contributed over $13 billion to the FSF since 1997.
According to the Texas Lottery, approximately 27 cents of every dollar the organization earns goes to the FSF to support Texas education.
Click here for a pie chart breakdown of where the Texas Lottery’s revenue goes.
Heith says the Texas Lottery is also looking for ways it can cut its own spending and thus lighten the state’s financial burdens.
“We certainly realize that these are difficult budgetary times,” Heith said. “We will continue to look for opportunities to cut costs that do not impact our ability to generate revenue for the state of Texas.”
The organization has recently signed a new contract for lottery operations that goes in to effect in September.
Heith says under the new contract the “State of Texas will realize potential savings of over $18 million annually beginning September 1, 2011 or nearly $37 million in savings over the biennium. The $37 million in savings could potentially grow to over $160 million over the life of the nine year contract.”
Click here for a detailed summary of the Texas Lottery’s financial information since 1992.