Mississippi Lottery Corporation will send nearly $50 million to education from FY2021 revenue but will it continue next year?
The Mississippi Lottery Corporation (MLC) has transferred $14,189,448.06 in revenue to the Lottery Proceeds Fund in the Mississippi State Treasury. That brings the current total transfer to $129,182,547.36, with still one more month left in the fiscal year.
According to the legislation that created the lottery, the first $80 million was set to go to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to repair roads and bridges across the state.
State Rep. John Read, Chairman of Appropriations in the House, said this was a feat they were not expecting to hit.
“I think it’s great. It has exceeded our expectations so far,” said Read.
With the first $80 million headed to roads and bridges, it was also stipulated through legislation that any additional funds go toward education. Read said the first half of the leftovers will go to K-12 schools and the rest to community colleges and IHL, split up into quarters.
So far this year, the Education Enhancement Fund is set to receive $49,182,547.36.
“For all of us at the MLC, we feel a great sense of accomplishment,” said MLC President Tom Shaheen. “None of this could have been possible without the dedication and efforts of our retailer partners, vendors, our board of directors, our employees and the players! I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a wonderful group of people and to be a part of Mississippi history.”
Chairman Read said that this year’s amounts have far exceeded expectations and that coupled with increased general state revenues has put Mississippi in a solid financial standing. However, he said if Alabama moves to implement a lottery, things could change for the Magnolia State.
“This year is great, but you know next year we don’t know what will happen. Mississippi could be under the numbers we are seeing right now,” said Read. “If Alabama starts a lottery I think that could take quite a bit away from Mississippi’s.”
In April, the Alabama Legislature passed a constitutional amendment to allow casino style gambling and the creation of a lottery. The final version submitted by the House will have to be approved by Alabama voters.