Ohio lawmakers call on lottery to supplement school funding


COLUMBUS (AP) — An Ohio state lawmaker is calling on the state lottery to get creative to help schools after Gov. Mike DeWine cut $355 million from the state education budget to balance the books.

Gov. DeWine cut $775 million in total on Tuesday, including $110 million for higher education and $210 million from the state Medicaid program.

Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Township, wrote a letter to Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald requesting that the lottery offer recommendations to maximize profits, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Coley has expressed interest in the lottery running the state’s sports betting operation and has called on them to be more vocal about the available options.

“We’ve heard very little from the lottery during this important debate on sports betting. It’s time they speak up and tell us what’s possible,” Coley said.

The two chambers are debating whether the Ohio Casino Control Commission or the Ohio Lottery will run the new industry.

Ohio Lottery spokesperson Danielle Frizzi-Babb said the department is open to continuing conversations with the Legislature and the administration on innovation solutions to increase profits.