Mon., February 15, 2010 6:01pm (EST)

Attorney General Says Lottery Funds Shift Unconstitutional
By Rickey Bevington
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker says it would have likely violated Georgia’s Constitution had lawmakers approved moving money from the Georgia Lottery. (photo courtesy georgia.gov)
Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker says it would have likely violated Georgia’s Constitution had lawmakers approved moving money from the Georgia Lottery. (photo courtesy georgia.gov)
Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker says it would have likely violated Georgia’s Constitution had lawmakers approved moving money from the Georgia Lottery.

In his proposed 2010 mid-year budget, Governor Sonny Perdue requested shifting $33 million in lottery funds to pay for some educational programs.

However, the programs Perdue wanted to fund were not Georgia's HOPE scholarships and Pre-Kindergarten classes.

Georgia's constitution requires lottery funds to go toward those programs.

In a letter to lawmakers Monday, Baker said he looked at three key factors in determining whether it would be constitutional to move the money, and concluded the Governor’s request would be an “unconstitutional expenditure of lottery proceeds.”

House lawmakers took out Perdue’s lottery request before passing the $17.4 billion budget that covers state expenses through the fiscal year that ends in June.