California Lottery Commission, Director Pledge to Increase Supplemental Education Funding
Senate Rules Committee Confirms Three Commissioners and Director
SACRAMENTO – The five-member California Lottery Commission recently approved its Fiscal Year 2012-13 budget at $4.830 billion in sales, a 10.4% increase over the current year, with an estimated $1.284 billion in contributions to education. The Commission pledged to do all it can to find efficiencies and grow the Lottery in the interests of public education.
At the fifth commission meeting of the current fiscal year, Commissioners voted Commissioner Phil Tagami as its chair and Commissioner John Smolin as its co-chair. All five Commissioners agreed to an ambitious agenda for the upcoming fiscal year that includes planning for eight commission meetings, and they reiterated their commitment to finding new, innovative ways to responsibly grow the Lottery and continue its annual supplemental contributions to public education.
Among the five goals the commission agreed to support are: building the capacity within the Lottery to ensure a solid professional team is on-board to help ensure the organization’s success; include a well-defined Internet strategy for all advertisements and promotions; increase the number of Lottery retailers to better reach the Lottery’s growing customer base; improve upon the efficiency and effectiveness of the Lottery’s supply chain and contract management operations; and, develop and support new gaming products.
“To stay competitive, increase our sales and provide our valued customers with as many avenues to responsibly play California Lottery games, we must also consider better use of technology,” said Chairman Tagami. “Other states are both studying and implementing the use of smart phones and on-line gaming opportunities. As one of the fastest growing Lotteries in the nation, California must look ahead and study the benefits as well as understand the potential consequences of this to remain competitive and responsible.”
The Commission also requested staff to find more ways to communicate and market the simple message that California schools annually receive more than one billion dollars in supplemental funding from the Lottery. While much of that money is significantly smaller after it is divided to all public, charter, and higher education institutions, it has become critical supplemental funding for many schools during this economic recession. See how some California schools use their Lottery funds here.
In related news, the Senate Rules Committee on Thursday unanimously confirmed three Commissioners: Tagami, Smolin and Nathaniel Kirtman III. California Lottery Director Robert T. O’Neill was also unanimously confirmed by the bipartisan committee. The remaining two Commissioners, Connie Perez and Gregory Ahern, will appear before the Rules Committee in the near future. All serve at the discretion of Governor Jerry Brown. See the Commissioner bios here.
The mission of the California Lottery is to provide supplemental funding to California schools while simultaneously supporting local communities. More than 94 cents of every dollar spent by our players goes back to local communities in the form of contributions to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail compensation. Since 2000, Lottery players have contributed $1 billion to public schools each year, and, since we began in 1985, Lottery players have contributed a total of more than $24 billion to education. The California Lottery urges its customers to play responsibly and within their budgets. If you feel you have a gambling problem, or know someone who does, you can get help at 1-800-GAMBLER.