Tillis Budget Gambles on Increased Lottery Revenue

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Thom Tillis and the NC House released their budget and it includes one big bet. They fund teacher raises by assuming an extra $100 million in revenue from doubling the advertising budget for the state lottery. Budget gimmicks like this aren't sustainable and are the wrong approach for raising teacher pay. The Charlotte Observer has a good recap of the budget:

The tradeoff? Republican House leaders who say they never would have launched the lottery in the first place want to step up advertising in hopes that gamblers will provide an additional $106 million for schools – even as the ads warn of the astronomical odds against winning big.

Some House members questioned the validity of the projections and the wisdom of tying teacher raises to increased gambling.

“I do feel uncomfortable rolling the dice and betting on money that may not materialize,” Rep. Debra Conrad, R-Forsyth, told the House Education Appropriations Committee, echoing concerns raised by two Democrats on the panel.

The lottery has long been controversial, with some opposing it on principle and others asking why it hasn’t prevented education cuts and teacher pay freezes. And as one representative noted, many see the lottery commercials as just plain obnoxious.

Lawmakers in Raleigh need to stop playing political games and show teachers the respect they deserve. Sign the petition to give all teachers a raise today!


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