Thursday, September 4, 2008

OR Measure 62: Allocates 15% of Lottery to Public Safety

OR Elections: SUMMARY: Amends constitution. Constitution currently apportions lottery proceeds to create jobs, further economic development, finance public education. In addition to those uses, measure requires 15% of net lottery proceeds deposited in public safety fund. 50% of fund moneys are distributed to counties for grants for the followings:
20% for early childhood programs for at-risk children;
15% to supplement district attorney operations;
15% to county sheriffs' investigations, field operations.
Allocates grants to county under formula:
30% divided equally on per-county basis,
70% divided on population basis.
Measure dedicates 50% of proceeds to state police criminal investigation, forensic operations. Measure prohibits legislature from limiting expenditures from fund. Funds to prosecution, sheriffs not a substitute to existing funds. Other provisions.

[_] Yes

“Yes” vote amends constitution to allocate 15% of lottery proceeds to public safety fund; reduces percentage of funds available for other lottery-funded programs.

OR "Family" Council: "Lean toward a 'YES'"
Victoria Taft

[X] No

“No” vote retains current list of authorized purposes for spending lottery proceeds; rejects amending the constitution to allocate specific percentage of proceeds for public safety.

EMO (pdf): ". . . This is a shell game that creates no new revenues for badly underfunded programs, but simply writes into the state constitution a permanent preference for funding for law enforcement over funding for education, economic development and environmental preservation. . . "

Portland Mercury
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune

Basic Rights OR
OR Working Families Party
• Ecumenical Ministries (pdf)
League of Women Voters
NARAL Pro-Choice
Sierra Club
Jack Bogdanski

FIRST IMPRESSION: I'm weary about using funds from an "entertainment" program to fund essential public safety programs while removing funding to vulnerable programs. Isn't public safety all taxpayers responsible to properly fund -- not just lottery players? The provision stating that the lottery funds will not be a "substitute to existing funds" sounds nice, but is probably unenforceable. The language is a little confusing as to how lottery proceeds are currently allocated and what programs this constitutional amendment will reduce. I need to learn more.

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