Editorial: New lottery chief targets profit requirement
BY World's Editorials Writers
Thursday, June 21, 2012
6/21/12 at 3:34 AM
The Oklahoma Lottery Commission has hired a new director to replace longtime director James Scroggins, who resigned in March to head up the Illinois State Lottery.
Rollo Redburn, who worked at the Office of State Finance for 29 years and who helped set up Oklahoma's lottery after voters approved it in 2004, had been the lottery's director of administration and served as interim director after Scroggins left.
He said one of his top priorities will be pursuing legislation to repeal the state law that requires the lottery to generate a minimum profit of 35 percent of gross proceeds, which also was a high priority for the previous director. We wish Redburn better luck with this effort.
Repeal of that measure has been sought numerous times but has always been blocked by Republicans who either oppose the lottery and/or don't want to take any steps to make the lottery more successful.
If that requirement were repealed, more money could be directed to prizes, which would increase sales and thus increase the level of funding going into education. (Now is as good a time as any to trot out the response to the predictable, unfounded criticism that the lottery was supposed to solve education funding woes. It was never intended to be a cure-all for education funding problems, especially under the type of lottery that the Legislature sent to voters.)
Redburn's got his work cut out, but he seems to be the right choice at the right time.
The lottery has generated an estimated $488 million for public education in Oklahoma since it was established in 2005. K-12 schools get most of the money.
If we're going to have a lottery - and voters have indicated they want one - then we might as well make it as successful as possible, especially in these times when schools are having to rely on the largesse of the private sector to retain teachers. A little extra money could make a difference.
Original Print Headline: New boss