House Budget Proposal Ups Lottery Funding for Education

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Wednesday morning, the NC House of Representatives' budget proposal will head to the House finance and appropriations committee, where it will await a vote that could send it to the full House by the end of this week.

House leaders essentially discarded much of the Senate's version Monday and drafted a new version that depends largely on more lottery sales to fund teacher pay increases.

The plan doubles the amount of money the lottery can spend on advertising. It currently is one percent of net proceeds but would increase to two percent of net proceeds under the proposed House budget. House leaders have said the proposal would yield an additional $425 million in ticket sales and $106 million in net proceeds.

House speaker Thom Tillis said the budget plan strengthens lottery ticket disclaimers about odds and payouts. The budget also proposes implementing new lottery games to boost sales. It also would allow for access to $60 million in lottery reserves.

House leaders have said the additional funding from the lottery would help fund proposed teacher pay increases and education improvements. The proposal includes an average five percent pay raise for teachers with what house leaders say are "no strings attached."

Representative Bryan Holloway (R-Stokes, Rockingham) said teachers would automatically get the pay raise and would not have to give up tenure or other benefits to receive it.

The Senate's budget proposes an average 11 percent pay raise, but teachers who decide to keep their tenure would not be put on the new salary scale and therefore would not receive the pay raises under that scale.

The House version of the bill could go before the full House Thursday, if it passes through a second vote in committee Wednesday.

The bill also includes provisions to prohibit people under the age of 18 from using tanning beds and would require schools to stock Epi-Pens.

It also proposes selling Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, for which the state spent $25 million to rebuild in 2011 following a hurricane.


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