SOS is proud to announce it has achieved its fundraising goal of $30,000 by completing the remaining fundraising needed in the last 6 weeks. Achieving this goal is significant because it allowed SOS to firmly move forward with the research and legal work necessary to develop language for a statewide ballot initiative to bring local control of lottery dollars back to each County based more closely on how much each County pays into the lottery.
In its research efforts to date, SOS discovered that not all Counties are receiving lottery funds based on how much are paid in from each County. And more importantly, the needs and funding priorities can vary greatly from County to County across Oregon.
SOS in partnership with Kevin Mannix and the Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance Foundation in recent weeks and months have developed language for an Oregon Constitutional amendment that would allow greater financial flexibility and more public input on how to use Lottery dollars. Each County would be able to choose how to spend 50% of the net proceeds generated from their County and generally speaking the dollars can be used for any major local school or local government need. Public Education and Public Safety are the primary duties of State and Local Government in Oregon and this lets each County define the highest priorities for these dollars. This Act would not take any dollars away from Public Education or any other current funding requirement such as the State Parks. In fact, after passing up to 85% of all Lottery net proceeds could still go to Public Education if that was decided the highest priority by each County and by the State Legislature. This Act would leave 17% of the lottery dollars as discretionary dollars for the State Legislature and moves 50% into local control in each County. Each County knows best what its greatest needs are from year to year, and priorities and needs can change from year to year. Each year the Counties can put the funds to where they are needed most.
In addition to local reporting on this project by the Daily Courier, the Statesman Journal also took notice of the SOS success in its article here:
OPB also noticed the project news: http://www.opb.org/news/article/changes-sought-in-oregon-lotto-distribution/
A separate petitioner committee entity has been formed to take on the signature gathering effort required to bring this idea to a vote. As SOS is a non-profit, SOS will not be participating in the political effort and further information on this topic can be found here in the future: http://www.lotterylocalcontrol.com/