Representative Wand: Multnomah County must use lottery dollars to create jobs

Rep. Matt Wand (R-Troutdale)

SALEM— Rep. Matt Wand (R-Troutdale) led House passage of a bipartisan bill yesterday to ensure that lottery dollars dedicated to Oregon counties are spent on economic development efforts as intended.  He said HB 3188 will help create jobs by prohibiting Multnomah County and other counties from redirecting the revenue for other purposes.

“Dedicated lottery funds are intended to help counties create jobs, but in Multnomah County, the revenue is consistently spent on other things,” Rep. Wand said.  “These funds shouldn’t be treated as another revenue stream for county government. HB 3188 ensures the money is spent on economic development and job creation, because these resources are desperately needed in East County.”

Oregon law currently dedicates a small portion of net video lottery revenues to counties for economic development activities, yet there’s no way for the state track how these dollars are actually being spent.  Due to this lack of oversight, some counties such as Multnomah County have directed the revenue to their general funds where the money could be used for other purposes.

HB 3188 requires the revenues to be placed into a dedicated economic development fund separate from a county’s general fund.  Further, the bill requires counties to report to the how the money has been spent on the state’s Transparency in Government website.

“This bill increases transparency and accountability in state and county governments, and allows our neighbors to see how their money is being spent.” Rep. Wand said.  “Most importantly, it helps ensure these lottery funds are used to help put Oregonians back to work.”

HB 3188 is also co-sponsored by Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham) and Rep. Patrick Sheehan (R-Clackamas).  Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel testified in support of the bill when it was being considered by the House Revenue Committee.  The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.