Bringing Lotto Dollars Back To Local Communities

, Written by Kyle Aevermann, Posted: Mon, August 19 2013 at 5:49 PM, Updated: Mon, August 19 2013 at 6:30 PM

There could be a new way to help fund public safety, or even help local school districts.

The best part?

It won't cost taxpayers a dime.

It'll come down to the state lottery.

What organizers of a new petition are trying to do, is to take back control of some of the money that goes into the lotto, and put it back into the local communities where those tickets were purchased.

It's no secret that Josephine County has been struggling, especially when it comes to providing public safety.

But now the group 'Securing our Safety' is trying to get signatures for a ballot measure that would generate money for public safety.

"We are trying to put on a ballot initiative that would allocate 50% of Oregon lottery dollars back to the counties they were generated in," said chief petitioner Cliff Thomason.

Currently state lawmakers decide where those lottery proceeds will go.

"The Oregon lottery is a billion dollar a year business. It gives our county to ability to decide where the money goes instead of Salem," explained Thomason.

Cheri Adkins has been gathering signatures since last week.

"I believe the county needs money, most of the people are supportive, there's a few who object, but most people are on board," said Adkins.

Josephine County Resident Jarrett Baker voted for public safety in the last election and signed the newest petition which will require at least 116,000 signatures to make it on the ballot.

"I thought it was something not only the community has been thinking about but I think we need it," said Baker

It won't cost him anymore than just a lotto ticket to help support the communities needs.

"Money spent local should stay local this is what it's all about," said Thomason.

If counties don't need law enforcement money, they could decide to use it for parks, education or other public uses.

If enough signatures are obtained, the earliest it could go on the ballot is November of 2014.

Petitioners say they will be at the Grants Pass post office everyday until they have enough signatures.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Kyle Aevermann

Kyle Aevermann reports weekdays and anchors NBC 5 News Weekends. He joined NBC 5 News in March 2012 as a morning producer and reporter. Prior to joining KOBI, Kyle interned at KISL-FM on Catalina Island, CA. He was also a regular contributor to CNN's citizen journalism program.

Originally from the Chicago-land area, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 to work in the social media industry. Kyle enjoys hiking, traveling, learning about cultures, and has a serious love for food.

Catch Kyle anchoring weekends on NBC 5 News at 6pm and 11pm.

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