Lawmakers want to use gambling revenue to fix state’s education system

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Much of the talk on Beacon Hill this session is about how to raise money for education, and many lawmakers see gambling revenue as a part of the solution.

Since the launch of the state’s modern lottery system in the early ’70s, lawmakers have asked that revenue collected by the state go towards things like transportation, education, and healthcare.

Today, Massachusetts collects a 25-percent tax on gambling revenues from the state’s three casinos.

According to the Gaming Commission, 20 percent of the state’s take goes to local aid to cities and towns, 15 percent goes towards improving transportation, and another 14 percent to community colleges.

Some lawmakers saw those figures and reconsidered the revenue model in place, suggesting House Bill-379, which would make education the top priority when distributing gambling revenue.

“I think it’s imperative that we look at what we might be able to generate from this bill and put a lot of that into education, it’s imperative that we have a revenue stream because anything can happen over the next few years in terms of the economy,” Rep. Hill said.

This bill and the ‘Millionaires tax’ are just two of the proposals that aim to raise money for education.

House Bill-379 would put revenue directly towards education, versus the millionaire’s tax which directs revenue to the general fund before it is dispersed to schools across the state.

Nearly all lawmakers have agreed to fix school funding this session, but they have not made a decision yet as to how the change will be funded.

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