- Associated Press - Monday, May 5, 2014
Kentucky Lottery plans new ad campaign

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Lottery plans a new advertising campaign this summer that focuses on how ticket purchases support college scholarships.

The move comes after the General Assembly voted last month to remove a prohibition on mentioning scholarships in ads.

The lottery anticipates a $3 million boost in sales over the next two years with the new ad campaign.

Kentucky Lottery spokesman Chip Polston told The Kentucky Enquirer (http://cin.ci/1iuyuQO) that the ads will run statewide and will show how much good the game has done. He said that until now Kentucky was the only lottery state that wasn’t allowed to advertise that proceeds fund scholarships.

When the Kentucky Lottery was created in 1989, some lawmakers feared it might use the scholarships as a way to pressure people to purchase tickets so they banned any mention of government service that lottery proceeds fund.

“The lottery was a very unknown entity at the time,” Polston said. “Folks didn’t know how the lottery would operate as a business, what level of societal responsibility the lottery would take.”

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Ky. spends millions to bus kids to private schools

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky has spent nearly $18 million over the past six years to bus students to private schools, most of which are religious. That’s despite the fact that the state constitution prohibits state funds from aiding any “church, sectarian or denominational” school.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports (http://bit.ly/1fHS5T0http://bit.ly/1fHS5T0 ) state financial records show that 8,375 private school students were bused last year using a subsidy of $2.9 million. In addition, many local governments kick in their own funds because the state subsidy does not cover the entire need.

In 2013, 19 counties requested about $3.9 million in subsidy from the state and got about $3 million, leaving an unfunded gap of $830,000.

The subsidy began in its current form in 1998 under Democratic Gov. Paul Patton. It was challenged, but the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled 4-to-3 against the challenge in 1999. The majority opinion found the subsidy was not state aid for religious schools, but rather aid for children attending the schools.

In March, the General Assembly voted to boost the subsidy to $3.5 million annually.

State Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, is chairwoman of the House budget subcommittee that oversees K-12 schools. She says the public schools have need for the money now spent sending children to private schools.

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