The controversy about the House plan to cynically increase lottery sales to fund teacher pay hikes is getting more troubling every day.
Saturday the News & Observer reported that lottery officials sent a memo to key legislative staffers before the House budget vote explaining that the lottery could not raise the amount of money included in the House budget because of advertising restrictions the budget also imposed.
Rep. Nelson Dollar, the chief House budget writer, wouldn’t say if he saw the memo before the House vote, which he almost certainly did. There’s no way that legislative staffers would have kept that memo to themselves.
That means that Dollar and other House leaders intentionally misled members of the House and the public about the budget they were debating. It also means they passed a budget they knew was not balanced.
This morning the News & Observer reports that lottery director Alice Garland says she personally told Dollar before the House budget vote that the lottery could not raise the additional money, leaving no question that he knew he was making false claims about the budget he was supporting.
Garland also confirmed that documents detailing the flaws in the House budget assumptions about lottery revenues were given to key officials.
And even worse, Garland says Dollar told her to “stay quiet about it.” So much for budget integrity in the North Carolina House.