Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Idaho Lottery Cuts $17 Million Check to Idaho Schools

For the first time in its 21-year history, the Idaho Lottery returned a seventh consecutive record-setting dividend to the people of Idaho.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter accepted the dividend check from the Idaho State Lottery Commission for $36.5 million. Of that, $17 million will go to Idaho’s public schools.

“Idaho’s public schools and public buildings are the beneficiaries of the Idaho Lottery’s success. And that means Idaho taxpayers are the real winners here,” Governor Otter said. “None of that would be possible without the responsible play of Idaho citizens and visitors to our state, or without the commitment to transparency and integrity that our great Lottery employees, vendors and retailers ensure every day.”

During today’s ceremony, Idaho Lottery Commissioners Roger Jones, Mel Fisher, and David Keyes joined Governor Otter in presenting dividend checks to the State Department of Education and the Idaho Department of Administration.

“On behalf of our schools, I want to thank Idahoans for contributing each and every year to public education through the Idaho Lottery,” said Rob Sauer, Deputy Superintendent of Innovation and Choice at the State Department of Education.  “The best investment we can make in our children’s future is to build a quality education system.  We at the State Department of Education work hard every day to raise student achievement and ensure a brighter future for all Idaho kids.”

Over the course of 21 years, the Idaho Lottery now has returned a total of $473.8 million to the people of Idaho.

Historically, Lottery dividends are shared by Idaho’s Public School Building Account and the Permanent Building Fund. A statute change in 2009, which sunsets in 2014, sets aside a portion of Lottery funds above the Fiscal Year 2008 funding level of $34 million for the Bond Levy Equalization Fund.

This year, the Bond Levy Equalization Fund will receive $2.5 million, bringing the two-year total to $3.5 million since the law was changed. 

This funding has already been built into the state’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget for Idaho’s public schools.

Check out the full story on the Idaho Lottery’s dividend presentation.

~ Melissa M.

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