Letters to the Editor

Lottery money could have boosted pensions

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The article on budget cuts, “Nothing is safe,” fell into the trap of repeating a falsehood that gives credence to “fake news.”

“When Kentucky voters adopted a lottery in 1989, the law decreed that proceeds would go to education” is a huge misrepresentation of facts the news media has championed.

Look it up. There were statements made by some of the proponents of the lottery that the funds derived would benefit education, and they have. However, the legislative branch had long championed a lottery to pay off the Vietnam veterans’ bonus and meet other needs of government. That’s what happened. It was believed that earmarking such funds would have been substituting for the general funds that had already been appropriated to education.

The KEES program, like many other good programs, came into being at the expense of not fully funding the state pension funds years after lottery funds were available. The governor and the legislature need to explain this inequity and pursue revenues to continue these good programs and fund the state’s pensions.

It makes good sense to raise taxes to fund these programs and pay off what should have been paid off before they were enacted.

C. M. Hancock

Frankfort

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