The General Assembly this year kept earmarking all North Carolina lottery proceeds for education, just as political predecessors said they would when they approved the gambling years ago.
But lawmakers decided to do away with the original formula for how net lottery profits are received annually. Backers of the formula's repeal argue that it hadn't been followed for several years. They add that lottery money had been moved around to cover shortfalls for education programs beyond the formula - and even for Medicaid.
Others are worried the state is slipping away from the basis upon which the lottery was sold to lawmakers and the public. County governments are particularly troubled as money for school construction has been cut.
The state will exceed $3 billion in all-time lottery earnings next month.