With the election of Governor Ron DeSantis, an emphasis was placed on several political topics including education.
Education is an issue that Floridians have long argued needs reforming, and Governor Ron DeSantis made the call to properly reform it, so that Florida can continue to be the sunshine state both intellectually and in terms of a thriving work force.
However, it seems that now that goal is under threat, and this week could mark a turning point in reaching that goal that Florida has so desperately been on a path to achieve.
The Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee will be reviewing House Bill 629, which could see a dramatic drop in revenue that’s funneled into the education system. The Senate also has its own counterpart bill, SB 1264, and both bills aim to “prohibit the use of personal electronic devices to play, store, redeem, sell or purchase lottery tickets or games.” With them, the bills seek to avoid scam websites from defrauding customers, and another important aspect of the bill is that warning labels would be included on game cards and lottery tickets.
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However, the concern over the bills centers on the revenue drains that they would inflict on lottery returns.
The lottery proceeds for schools in the sunshine state are currently directed to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund. With the warning labels being implemented, there is a concern that the labels could contribute to a $245 million drop in gross revenue, and the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund could face a potential drop of $63 million. This is based on a study done on the impact of warning labels on cigarettes, which a study from the University of Pennsylvania showed that 7% of smokers may have been influenced by the labels.
In a time when Education is a commitment that both lawmakers and constituents have joined forces to reform, the Senate and House bills now raise questions regarding possible difficulties in ensuring a stronger Education system for Floridians.