Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) announced legislation today that will require the California State Lottery to appropriate $36 million to the state’s education fund as recommended by the California State Auditor. Last week the State Auditor released the results of a comprehensive audit of the Lottery, originally requested by Senator Chang. The audit found the State Lottery does not prioritize education in its budget plans, and now owes schools $36 million. The audit found a number of other issues with the State Lottery that exposed wasted funds.
“I’m not going to let the State Lottery gamble with our children’s education,” said Senator Chang. “It’s clear there needs to be some serious changes at the Lottery in order to protect funding for schools. Every dollar wasted at the State Lottery, is a dollar that won’t go to schools.”
Senate Bill 891 will require the Lottery to appropriate $36 million owed to education, and ensure any future increases in education funding is proportional to increases in net revenue to the Lottery.
According to the State Auditor, “The Lottery has not prioritized funding to education when setting its budgets.” The audit confirmed that while lottery sales revenue has increased by 115% since the Legislature’s changes were adopted in 2010, payments to schools increased by only 66%. It also found that for at least the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Lottery shortchanged schools $36 million.
SB 891 will soon be referred to the appropriate committee for consideration.
On Wednesday, March 4, the newly appointed State Lottery Director will testify before the Senate Rules Committee, seeking official confirmation from the Senate.
This article was released by the Office of Senator Ling Ling Chang.