WILMINGTON, N.C. — North Carolina State Representative Carolyn Justice says the governor's decision to take lottery funds has left some school districts in distress.
The $50 million in the Education Lottery Reserve Fund was supposed to pay for school construction costs, some for this school year.
The Pender County Republican says that's going to hurt local school districts.
"If those counties already issued bonds planning on that money to pay their debt, they're in trouble right now. And this hasn't even become solidified yet — just the first overtures here are not looking good for us locally."
Justice says Governor Beverly Purdue's withdrawal was one of many unfavorable options for trying to balance the state budget.
She's also upset about the possibility of closing the Wilmington Residential Facility for Women where inmates work in the community and help fund the prison.
State Senator R.C. Soles Jr. disagrees, and supports the removal of the lottery education funds from the school construction projects.
The Columbus County Democrat says Governor Perdue's withdrawal was a cautionary move that will help keep the state budget balanced.
"I think Governor Perdue very reluctantly, but prudently, decided to move the lottery money over to help balance the budget with the understanding that if we can find it somewhere else, that that will not be used or, perhaps, replaced later on."
Soles says North Carolina has a constitutional mandate requiring a balanced budget. Critics of the move say it will hurt local school districts.