Rice and Whelan propose lottery surcharge to fund after-school programs

TRENTON – A pair of state senators are proposing after-school programs for kids from low-income New Jersey families be funded in part by a surcharge on certain state lottery winnings.

Sens. Ronald Rice, (D-28), Newark, and Jim Whelan, (D-2), Atlantic City, recently introduced legislation that would fund after-school programs for at-risk youth by implementing a 0.5 percent surcharge on lottery winnings of $600 or more. The funds would go to an After School Program Fund and provide grant dollars for nonprofits that provide the programs, according to the lawmakers.

“Through this legislation, we’re dedicating a small portion of lottery winnings to fund nonprofit after-school programs, so that these programs are somewhat insulated from the political wrangling that goes into the budget and can focus on their mission of serving at-risk children,” Rice said in a statement.

The bill, S2275, would help support nonprofits that run the programs in school districts where at least 40 percent of students come from households where the income is below $42,600 a year for a family of four.

“At its lowest applicable dollar amount, we’re talking about $3 on a $600 prize from the New Jersey Lottery,” stated Whelan.  “But applied across all lottery winnings in the state, we’re talking about millions of dollars in funding which would go to worthy after-school programs for New Jersey’s at-risk kids.  That’s a significant amount of money to fund grants to after-school programs statewide, and it does not affect New Jersey’s bottom line.”

Rice and Whelan propose lottery surcharge to fund after-school programs