Marsh: Lottery proceeds needed to ‘stabilize the general fund,’ protect education budget
Earlier this month, the State Senate passed a version of a lottery bill that was put forward by State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) and State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston).
The revenue generated from that lottery bill would go to the state’s general fund. That has drawn criticism from some for not being dedicated to education.
On Friday’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Marsh argued lottery money going to the general fund would protect the education fund.
“It is estimated to generate about $170 million — money going to the general fund,” Marsh said. “It’s important that the listeners understand that there’s a reason for it to go there. The general fund is the fund with the least amount of money. You got a lot of services from prisons to the courts, DHR, mental health all get dollars out of the general fund. If the general fund is not sound and stable, there’s pressure to move programs … out of the general fund and put them on the backs of education.”
“We need to understand to that,” he continued. “Education has great growth. We had a half-a-billion dollars over last year — biggest education budget ever passed. If we can’t stabilize the general fund, there’s going to be more pressure to move programs over to education. I’m trying to protect that by securing the general fund. People need to understand that by doing what we’ve done, it makes the education [budget] more safe, those dollars more safe.”