Legislation regarding how the state’s lottery proceeds are split up between schools and state buildings has passed the Senate as amended; now it goes back to the House for concurrence in the Senate amendments. HB 478a would keep the current distribution – 37.5 percent each for school building projects and for the state’s permanent building fund, and 25 percent for the bond levy equalization fund – for the next five years. It passed, 26-8.
Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News has a good explanation here of the complicated bill and the issues surrounding it; when Idaho first established its state lottery in 1986, proceeds were split equally between schools and the state building fund, but since 2009, a growing share has gone to the bond fund to help school districts afford to build new buildings. If that split weren’t continued, the state would need to ante up $12.5 million in state general funds for the bond levy equalization program.
The House, meanwhile, has adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow. Before adjournment, when House members had a chance for introductions and announcements, those included Rep. Sue Chew, D-Boise, putting in a pitch for “the four words be added so all of God’s children are treated as equals, because in America we all are;” Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, giving his version of the tally as to how much the House “spent” today through approving appropriation bills; and Rep. Neil Anderson, R-Blackfoot, expressing thanks for the taxpayers of Idaho “that are willing and able to pay the money that we collect to provide the services.”