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(LISTEN): Missouri veterans want to see ten percent of Missouri Lottery proceeds go to veteran programs

(LISTEN): Missouri veterans want to see ten percent of Missouri Lottery proceeds go to veteran programs

State Rep. Richard Brown (D-Kansas City), left, introduces Missouri Governor Mike Parson to a veteran at a March 28, 2024 Statehouse ceremony honoring veterans from across the state (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

Veterans from across Missouri are traveling by motorcycle, bus and vehicle to Jefferson City for this afternoon’s “Rock the Rotunda” rally at the Statehouse. It will begin at 1:30 in the Missouri Capitol Rotunda.

Missouri Association of Veterans Organizations (MAVO) president Troy Williams tells 939 the Eagle that veterans deserve ten percent of Missouri Lottery proceeds, saying the money would fund critical state veterans homes and cemeteries.

“100 percent of the gaming from Missouri Lottery goes to education: 100 percent. What we’re asking is 90 percent go to education, ten percent be allocated to (the) Missouri Veterans Commission to spend the way they need to spend it for their operating expenses,” Mr. Williams says.

He says the ten percent that veterans are requesting is about $50 million, funding he says would make the Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC) whole. The Missouri Lottery’s website says its proceeds contributed to public education in fiscal year 2023 was about $425-million.

President Williams says another MAVO priority is fully funding the Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC):

“The Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC) had to go to the general (revenue) fund, general fund for the state, and ask for $50-million. That’s how much they were short on operating costs, so there’s a definite problem,” says Williams.

Mr. Williams says the additional funding from Missouri Lottery proceeds would help fund state veterans homes and cemeteries like the ones in mid-Missouri’s Mexico and Jacksonville.

Some of the veterans traveling to Jefferson City today use oxygen tanks, and need to park as close as possible to the Capitol. Mr. Williams says the Millbottom event center has given veterans permission to park at 400 West Main in Jefferson City. He urges veterans to be respectful to the bike and coffee shop at that location, noting six parking spots in front need to stay open for the businesses. Mr. Williams also notes the Veterans of Foreign Wars will have two VFW vehicles driving around the Capitol complex providing rides.