Fall Ballot Measure Directs Lottery Dollars to Oregon Veterans
By Oregon Veterans Association
The Oregon Legislature will ask voters this fall to approve a measure allocating 1.5% of lottery revenue to increased services for Oregon veterans. House Joint Resolution 202 passed unanimously in the final Senate vote, 57-0 and is now awaiting a ballot title. The upcoming measure will amend Oregon’s Constitution to require a percentage of lottery revenues be expended for benefit of veterans.
The 1.5% dedication is estimated to be $9.4 million during the average forecast year, and around $37.5 million in the two biennia following its passage. The bill’s leading sponsor, Rep. Paul Evans-D (Dist. 20) called the legislation “an opportunity to make the most consequential investment in veteran outreach and services in Oregon History.”
The dollars would help veterans better connect with federal services, including housing, health care and pension income, by directing unclaimed federal benefit dollars to Oregon vets. The Oregon Education Association registered neutrality on the bill, while education activist Jody Wiser of Tax Fairness Oregon, opposed the bill. A Vietnam veteran and navy officer, Jerry Murray, wrote in favor of the bill, stating that many veterans, spouses and families are not aware of their VA benefits or do not know how to cut through all the federal VA red tape and bureaucracy.