On May 19 Californians will vote on the Lottery Modernization Act, better known as Prop 1C.
Proposition 1C proposes changes to the California lottery system. It would allow the state to borrow $5 billion from the lottery to balance the 2009-2010 state budget and allow future legislation to use the lottery as a resource for future deficits. Prop 1C is expected to protect education funding.
Supporters of the act include the California Teachers Association, the California Democratic Party and Californians For Modernization. Californians For Modernization represents GTECH, a gambling technology company that has donated about $1 million to the Yes on Prop 1C campaign.
Californians for Modernization spokesperson Roger Salazar said passing Prop 1C will take $5 billion from the lottery instead of through working peoples‘ taxes, protect schools from budget cuts, and improve the game.
“[Prop 1C] will make the lottery a little more attractive to players,” Salazar said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.“
Benefits to the “modernized” lottery include more winners, bigger prizes and a bigger return to the state. The new lottery will have more flexibility to increase sales and prizes.
Prop 1C hopes to ensure funding to the California education system. Davis Joint Unified School District chief business official Bruce Colby acknowledges that support for the propositions should help educational funding in Davis and statewide.
“Most schools in general want the propositions to pass,” Colby said. “If [Prop 1C] doesn’t pass, funding to schools are at risk.“
As is now, a portion of lottery money is for education. Upon passage of the proposition, education funding can then come from the state’s general fund budget instead.
The California Democratic Party supports Prop 1C, as well as Propositions 1B and 1F. The party is remaining on the other propositions.
“The California Democratic Party is always on the side of education,” said Mulholland. “Education is key for future generations.“
Opponents of the measure include the California Nurses Association, State Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) and the California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion.
Reverend James Butler, executive director of California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion, sees Proposition 1C as bad social, economic and political policy. Underlying these issues is the implications of increased gambling in California.
“[Prop 1C] is not a positive contribution,” Butler said. “Gambling is a drain to society.“
Butler said gambling puts on strain on other social structures due to increased crime, unemployment and bankruptcies that accompany gambling. Currently there are over one million problem and pathological gamblers in California, he said.
“Anything that gets the people of California to gamble more is not cost efficient,” Butler said.
As the voter guide explains, Prop 1C gives state legislature and government more control the lottery. Butler said this leads to a bad political structure for the future.
“Prop 1C gives legislature more power,” said Butler.
SASHA LEKACH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.