Nixon Starts Lottery Reform With Commission House Cleaning

(AP) — Gov. Jay Nixon replaced most of the members of the Missouri Lottery Commission on Thursday as he released a report recommending the agency review its policies on prizes and advertising in a quest to route more money to education.

The shake-up in oversight at the Missouri Lottery comes after it posted record sales during the past budget year yet transferred less money to education than it had in the previous year.

Nixon in July had directed his state budget office to review the lottery’s operations. That resulted in a series of recommendations Thursday that the lottery revise its contracting procedures to save money and re-examine whether it is devoting too much of its proceeds to prizes and advertising.

“Two decades ago, Missouri voters spoke loud and clear that the proceeds from the Missouri Lottery should benefit our public schools, and it’s clear that the lottery has some work to do if it’s going to keep delivering on that promise,” Nixon said in a written statement.

The lottery was authorized by voters under a 1984 constitutional amendment. And a separate 1992 amendment required all proceeds not used for prizes or administrative expenses to go to public K-12 schools and higher education institutions. The amount provided to education had consistently been above 25 percent annually during the past decade, but dropped to 23.1 percent in the 2014 budget despite higher sales.

The budget office report said Missouri ranked fourth nationally over the past decade in the percentage of lottery revenues devoted to prizes. It recommended the lottery solicit an independent analysis on the right balance between prizes and education transfers.

From the 2005 to 2014 budget years, the lottery boosted its advertising expenses from $2.1 million to $16 million annually. Legislators increased advertising funding largely because lottery officials predicted that it would result in greater sales and thus more money for education.

But “based on actual transfers to education, it is unclear if this was actually the case,” the report said.

Until Thursday, all five members of the lottery commission had continued to serve several years after their terms technically expired because Nixon hadn’t appointed replacements. Nixon apparently began searching in earnest for new members after the lottery posted lower education transfers during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

Copies of the governor’s daily schedule provided to The Associated Press show he talked by phone on Aug. 7-8 with three of the four people he announced Thursday as appointees. The new commissioners, who will need Senate confirmation next year, include:

– Terry Adams, of Lake St. Louis, a former school superintendent who is replacing Gina Hoagland, of Ladue.

– Phyllis Chase, of Kansas City, who is director of the Charter School Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is replacing Jacque Land, of St. Louis.

– Paul Kincaid, of Springfield, who is retiring in October as an administrator at Missouri State University. He is replacing Stephen Snead, of Turners.

– John Twitty, of Springfield, a former municipal utilities manager, who is replacing Kevin Roberts, of Hillsboro.

Pamela Wright, of University City, remains on the lottery commission, although Nixon’s website shows that her term expired in September 2010.

Lottery spokeswoman Susan Goedde said the new members are expected to be in place for a Friday commission meeting during which the recommendations will be discussed.

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