Higher Education Short Changed By Racing Commission?
Have you ever noticed that whenever there is talk of gambling in our state there is always a reference to education. Allegedly a portion of the proceeds from things like a lottery, horse racing, slot machines, video poker, and any other organized forms of gaming were going to be used to make Louisiana schools great. I see a lot of companies doing quite well in the gaming industry. I don't see our schools having the funds they need. There is obviously an issue somewhere.
One of those issues might have been exposed in a state audit of the Louisiana Racing Commission. The audit shows that the commission should have sent approximately $15 million dollars in funds to Board of Regents. In discussing the audit with reporters from the Louisiana Radio Network Houma Representative Joe Harrison said,
Is gaming money going to education as we voted in 1990? The answer is no, it is not.
Mr. Harrison went on to say that the object of the audit which showed a shortfall in education payments from July of 1996 to April of 2015 is not to punish anyone but to simply get the money that is owed.
We feel confident that in working with them we’ll get this straightened out and make sure that that revenue, which would amount to anywhere from 500,000 to 600,000 dollars a year will be the annual amount going to Regents.
Officials with the Racing Commission say they do not agree with the findings of the audit. They claim a mechanism for distributing the money to the Board of Regents was never put in place. You can expect legislative and probably legal action by both sides in the very near future.