Working 4 You: Where does lottery, marijuana revenue go?
SPOKANE, Wash. — Following the announcement of massive layoffs at Spokane Public Schools amid a $31 million budget gap, several KXLY Facebook viewers asked where revenue from the state lottery and marijuana sales was directed and if it could be used to help educators.
According to the State Treasurer’s office and the Office of Financial Management, the bulk of money raised goes to the prizewinners but the recipient of the next biggest amount of money is education.
The Economic and Revenue Forecast for March of this year indicates that $134.2 million was given to the Washington Pathways Opportunity Account, a Treasurer’s office fund that provides money for college grants/scholarships, early childhood education, vocational programs, charter schools, and other education programs. (Table 3.16, p. 69)
R.C.W. 69.50.540 outlines the appropriations of funding for marijuana revenue. Once the initial necessary appropriations are met, the state law says remaining funds are placed into a state general fund.
The law says that “if marijuana excise tax collections deposited into the general fund in the prior fiscal year exceed twenty-five million dollars, then each fiscal year the legislature must appropriate an amount equal to thirty percent of all marijuana excise taxes deposited into the general fund the prior fiscal year to the treasurer for distribution to counties, cities, and towns.”
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