Midterm Reaction: Maryland votes to use all gambling revenue for education
Gambling and education were the main topics of this year's midterm elections. Question 1 addressed an amendment to the state's Constitution that would allocate all gambling revenue to be used to improve Maryland's education system. The measure passed by a landslide, with almost all the voters indicating their approval.
According to the measure's language, "The amendment requires the Governor to include in the annual State Budget, as supplemental funding for prekindergarten through grade 12 in public schools, the revenues from video lottery operation licenses and any other commercial gaming dedicated to public education in an amount above the level of State funding for education in public schools provided by the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act of 2002 (otherwise known as the Thornton legislation) in not less than the following amounts: $125 million in fiscal year 2020; $250 million in fiscal year 2021; $375 million in fiscal year 2022; and 100% of commercial gaming revenues dedicated to public education in fiscal year 2023 and each fiscal year thereafter..."
By the time all the votes had been tallied, 90% had said yes. A total of 1,735,151 Maryland residents agreed that it was a good idea, while only 215,335 said no.
Maryland is home to six casinos, a number of bingo halls, horse racing facilities and racinos. In its most recent fiscal year, the state's casinos generated over $1.6 billion, a fiscal year record.