Commissioners attend Assembly Day meetingHaywood commissioners advocate to restore lottery proceeds
Haywood County Commissioners Mark Swanger and Michael Sorrells attended the May 28 County Assembly Day, sponsored by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC), and helped advocate to restore and protect the county share of proceeds from the North Carolina Education Lottery.
“Our goal is to restore the funds to level approved by the voters,” said Swanger, chairman of the Haywood County board.
Over the past five years, counties have lost more than $300 million in lottery funds. The Legislature has reduced the county lottery share each of the past four years. For the current fiscal year, the Legislature appropriated $100 million — or slightly more than half of what counties would have received — to school construction. In 2013, the Legislature eliminated the statute that directed 40 percent of net lottery funds to school construction.
“Haywood County has historically supported education and I will do what I can to support Haywood County schools,” said Commissioner Sorrells. “The Haywood County school system lost $3 million in the changes to the lottery funding formula, so we need to restore funding as it was when first implemented.”
NCACC Executive Director David F. Thompson said that restoring the full share of lottery proceeds and the statutes that designate counties as a recipient of lottery funds is the organization’s top priority this session.
“We appreciate the support of the hundreds of commissioners who came to County Assembly Day and helped heighten awareness of this issue in the General Assembly,” Thompson state. “The lottery is the only remaining state-funded support for public school construction.”
(NCACC) is the official voice of all 100 counties on issues being considered by the General Assembly, Congress and federal and state agencies. Founded in 1908, the Association provides expertise to counties in the areas of lobbying, fiscal and legal research, communications, intergovernmental relations, information technology, field visits and risk management services.