What it does: Devotes 1.5 percent of net proceeds from the state lottery to a veterans’ services fund. According to calculations based on the state’s June 2016 revenue forecast, the measure would dedicate approximately $9 million annually to the fund in the next fiscal biennium. The fund was created by the legislature to support services — such as housing, education and healthcare — for Oregon residents who served in one of the branches of the military.
Endorsements for: Various legislators and veterans’ organizations, including the head of the United Veterans’ Groups of Oregon, support the measure. Supporters say the measure could improve services for veterans on both state and federal levels, not only by providing funding for state services but also by “unlocking” federal benefits that kick in with state contributions.
Endorsements against: The City Club of Portland has come out against the measure, saying it could reduce funding for other state services paid for with lottery funds. Currently, 15 percent of net proceeds go to an education stability fund, 18 percent to a parks and natural resources fund, and the remainder are allocated by the legislature to generally support economic development and job creation.
The city club also said that the measure doesn’t lay out a “specific mechanism for generating new funds” although supporters tout the federal funding that would be newly available. Further, the club argues, the measure doesn’t say whether the 1.5 percent of lottery funds will supplement the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs budget or replace agency funding from the state’s general fund.