Senate OKs Sen. Dodd Plan to Maximize Lottery Funds for Schools

Thursday, April 29, 2021

SACRAMENTO – The Senate today unanimously approved legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would ensure public schools receive the maximum amount of money possible from state lottery proceeds.

“At a time when the coronavirus has strained finances at California schools, getting them the most money from the lottery is critically important,” Sen. Dodd said. “My bill analyzes lottery prize amounts to ensure the largest possible share for education. It will help us find the sweet spot between money coming in and going out, to bolster funding that is needed now more than ever.”

The California State Lottery has given more than $37 billion to public education since it began in 1985. The contribution increases annually with $1.8 billion going to schools in 2019. By law, 87% of all money collected by the lottery must be returned to the public through prizes and to public education, with the remainder for lottery operating costs.

Senate Bill 818 requires lottery officials to conduct a study by Aug. 1, 2022 to determine the optimal prize payout rate to maximize the amount of money allocated to public education. Also, it requires the lottery director to recalculate the rate at least once every five years while mandating the lottery commission use the optimal payout rate to set its budget.

SB 818 passed the Senate on a 36 to 0 vote. It goes next to the Assembly.

“Schools in California are chronically underfunded, to detriment of our students,” said Steve Herrington, Sonoma County superintendent of schools. “This bill would help address that by ensuring that state lottery funds go to their intended recipient -- the students of California.”


Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at