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Spin Control

Posts tagged: state Lottery

House votes to spend lottery money for classrooms

OLYMPIA — A bipartisan plan to use state lottery money for bonds to build new classrooms passed easily in the House today.

On a 90-7 vote, the House approved a bill to build some 2,000 classrooms for kindergarten through Grade 3 classes which will be reduced in size as part of a plan to improve public school. It would sell $700 million in bonds, and pay them off over 20 years by taking $50 million annually from the state's lottery revenue.

A few Republicans said they agreed with using lottery money for education but objected to the bond plan. The state should be patient, use the lottery's cash flow, and avoid bonds and their interest payments.

House Capital Budget Committee Chairman Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, said bonds would quickly provide the money school districts will need to have all the necessary classrooms by the 2017-18 school year.

Earlier in the morning the House passed a separate Supplemental Capital Budget with $166 million in new projects.  Included in the lists are $1 million for the Spokane Valley Tech center and $2.9 million for the Veterans Cemetery Expansion.

Classroom building plan passes committee

OLYMPIA — On a unanimous vote, a House committee approved a plan to build some 2,000 new classrooms at schools around the state by tapping lottery funds.

The House Capital Budget Committee voted 13-0 this morning in favor of a proposal to sell $700 million in bonds to build classrooms for the kindergarten through Grade 3 classes that will be downsized as part of efforts to improve public schools. Smaller class sizes in those grades is one of the goals for meeting a state Supreme Court order to meet constitutional requirements for education.

HB 2797 would take $50 million in state lottery proceeds each year to pay off the bonds. The lottery is a steady and dependable source of money to pay off bonds, Committee Chairman Hans Dunshee said. Selling the bonds would allow the state to build the extra classrooms by the 2017-18 school year, when the classroom size reductions are scheduled to be in place, he said.

There would be no local match required from school districts, he said. The districts would apply to the state Superintendent of Public Instruction office to receive the money.

“We're not doing this because the court told us,” Dunshee said. “This is what we want to do. This is what we ought to do.”

Gregoire: Reform liquor board and lottery

OLYMPIA – Washington should abolish the Liquor Control Board and see if a private company can do a better job of managing the state Lottery, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Thursday.

It should also spread some of the efficiency standards and cost-cutting measures successful in business, known as Lean, across more state agencies, she said in proposing a series of government reforms for the Legislature to consider when it returns next month.

Many Republicans and some Democrats said they wanted to reform government, to raise productivity and cut costs, before considering most of the cuts to programs and staffing Gregoire proposed last month or any tax increases like her proposal for a temporary half-cent increase in the sales tax.

The governor said Washington will likely have to do all three – institute reforms, cut key programs and raise taxes.

“I’d like them to come forward with reform ideas that would close a $2 billion hole,” she said.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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