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1/16/2003 Rep. Moffitt introduces bill to increase state’s share of lottery profits for permanent school fund
STATE HOUSE – Not wasting any time, freshman legislator Rep.Victor G. Moffitt, a Republican from Coventry, today introduced legislation that would require a certain percentage of funds from video lottery terminal receipts to be deposited into a permanent school fund.

“Since its inception, the Lottery Commission was designed to funnel money directly into the state’s education account,” said Representative Moffitt (R-Dist. 28). “However, no permanent funding source was established by the Rhode Island General Assembly. Instead, the money was deposited into the general fund and not specifically earmarked for education.”

Co-sponsored by Rep. Carol A. Mumford (R-Dist. 41), Rep. Joseph N. Amaral (R-Dist. 70), Rep. Bruce J. Long (R-Dist. 74), and Rep. Steven F. Smith (D-Dist. 13), the bill (2003 - H5098) has been referred to the House Finance Committee for further review.

Representative Moffitt said, “Rhode Island’s State Constitution (Article VII, Section 2) clearly states that there must be a permanent school fund. What I propose is a gradual increase in the percentage of revenue created from video lottery terminals that would be used solely for the purpose establishing the permanent education fund.”

The bill states that a percentage of video lottery terminal receipts shall be paid to the permanent school fund as indicated in the following schedule:

Fiscal Year Percentage

2004 2.5%

2005 5.0%

2006 7.5%

2007 and thereafter 10.0%

“Last year, the video lottery terminals produced approximately $240 million dollars in profits. Based on that figure, if we start taking 2.5% in 2004 the state school fund would receive $6 million dollars,” explained Representative Moffitt, who is a tax accountant and newly appointed member of the House Finance Committee.

“Our students, teachers and faculty deserve all of the financial resources that were promised to them when the Lottery Commission began,” said Representative Moffitt. “Let us plan for the ever-increasing cost of education now, so that we can insure all Rhode Island youth will be afforded adequate educational opportunities.”

For more information, contact:
Randall T. Szyba, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2457