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State Lawmaker Wants CA Lottery To Pay Out For Shortchanging Schools

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A man shows his just purchased lottery tickets from the Blue Bird Liquor store in Hawthorne in 2018. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
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California's Lottery has been short-changing what it owes to school children around the state for years, according to a new state audit of the program. Now state Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) is working on a new bill to regulate the program.

“It would require the lottery to pay education the $36 million it owes,” she told KPCC’s Take Two.

Starting in 1984, the lottery was supposed to direct 34 percent of sales revenue to schools. But the audit showed that, for at least the fiscal year that ended the summer of 2018, schools missed out on $36 million from an expected $69 million.

Chang's bill would also mandate that the percentage schools receive stays consistent as lottery revenues grow, and that there be an audit of the program each year. She originally pushed for the audit when she tried to find funding for computer science programs and noticed that the numbers from the lottery weren’t adding up to what she expected.

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