Letters to the editor – Sunday (6-21-09)
Lottery legislation guides distribution of proceeds
The following is in response to a recent letter writer’s question about lottery proceeds:
Lottery sales to date are over $3.4 billion. We make transfers to the Office of State Budget quarterly. Our last transfer was based on sales through March 31. Our next transfer will be made at the end of June. We have transferred a total of $1,032,808,767 to North Carolina.
The Lottery Act designates that 50 percent of proceeds is to be split between at-risk 4-year-old pre-K and K-3 class size reduction; 40 percent to school construction; and 10 percent to college scholarships. The only lottery proceeds designated to cover teacher salaries are the dollars going to class-size reduction. It takes an act of the governor or the Legislature to alter this designation. Detailed information on allocations to counties by program and by fiscal year is available on the lottery Web page at http://www.nc-educationlottery. org/about_where-the-money-goes.aspx.
The lottery has accomplished what the Legislature envisioned when it was created. The money is going where directed by law. The lottery was never designed to meet all the budget needs of education. We cover roughly 4 percent of the education budget. The education budget is greater than 50 percent of the total state budget. The K-12 annual budget is over $8 billion. Education funding needs are significant. At the lottery, we are extremely pleased that we have added $1 billion that was not previously available.
We appreciate the interest of citizens such as your reader and are glad to be able to provide this information.
ó Pamela Walker
Pamela Walker is spokeswoman with the N.C. Education Lottery.The annexation battle
In response to “Conflict over N.C. land annexation laws gets hearing”:
All the legislators have been given proof of corrupt, forced annexations and attempts to forcibly annex in Lexington, Knightdale, Rocky Mount, Selma, Salisbury, Shallotte, Asheville, Carrboro, Ayden, Goldsboro, Fayetteville and Clemmons, just to name a few locales.
They have also been given unquestionable refutation of the League of Municipalities’ claim that annexation would come to a halt if the people were granted a vote, contrary to what state Sen. Tony Rand is so fond of saying.
In fact, Senator Rand’s arrogant comments to citizens are much different than those publicized by the media.
As one of the 14 percent of citizens under threat of forced annexation, I think I speak for us all in saying:
We want our vote. We want oversight by county commissioners, which would have prevented much of the abuse that has gone on and continues to go on. And we want meaningful services. Fire protection and garbage pickup are not sufficient services on which to base an annexation.
If we have a vote, we are certainly intelligent enough to know whether or not meaningful services are being offered and can vote against such absurd annexations. That is the real reason for the league and Senator Rand continuing to fight against this.
ó Marie Howell