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Governor Proposes HOPE Chest to Protect Scholarships and Prekindergarten Programs

Friday, June 24, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Constitutional Amendment to Limit Lottery Funds to HOPE and Pre-K

SAVANNAH - This morning at the Georgia School Board Association Summer Conference in Savannah, Georgia, Governor Sonny Perdue announced a proposal for a constitutional amendment limiting the use of lottery revenues to costs associated with the HOPE scholarship and Pre-K programs.

“As the HOPE and Pre-K programs continue to grow in popularity, we need to make sure that lottery revenues go straight to these two outstanding programs,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “We cannot allow money to be frivolously spent on projects that have nothing to do with college scholarships or early learning.”

Between the 1994 and 2003 fiscal years, legislators appropriated over $1.8 billion in lottery revenue on budget items outside of HOPE and Pre-K programs. For example, $2.5 million was appropriated for a resources center at Zoo Atlanta in 1995.

Since taking office, Governor Perdue has put an end to the raiding of lottery funds for projects that should be appropriated from other sources if at all. “We must do all we can to protect HOPE and Pre-K for future generations. Siphoning money out of lottery funds for pet projects jeopardizes these two great programs, and I think the people of Georgia deserve the opportunity to put a permanent stop to this practice,” added Perdue.

Governor Perdue will include the HOPE Chest amendment in his 2006 legislative package.