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The Sacramento Bee: California Lottery Earns $7 Billion A Year. But Are Schools Getting A Fair Share?

Date: July 30, 2019
By: Wes Venteicher
Source: The Sacramento Bee

The state Legislature has added another audit to the list of investigations into the California State Lottery, this one based on questions over whether the agency is giving enough money to schools as required by state law.

The department has been under scrutiny since employees alleged misconduct among senior executives in an anonymous letter last summer to former Gov. Jerry Brown. The state Justice Department has launched an investigation, and the State Controller’s Office has identified inappropriate spending on travel. Agency director Hugo Lopez resigned in June.

Lottery revenues have “skyrocketed” over the last 10 years, reaching nearly $7 billion last year, but the share of money the agency gives to schools hasn’t kept up, State Sen. Ling Ling Chang, a suburban L.A. Republican, wrote in an audit request.

The Lottery was making $3 billion in revenue and contributing about $1 billion for education 10 years ago, according to Lottery data cited by Chang. Last year, when revenues approached $7 billion, the agency had increased its school contributions to close to $2 billion, according to the data.

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