ST. PAUL – State Representative Sondra Erickson has announced total sales and proceeds from state lottery tickets sold in District 16A and the surrounding area, including the counties of Benton, Mille Lacs, Morrison and Sherburne and the cities of Foley, Hillman, Isle, Milaca, Onamia, Pierz, Princeton and Zimmerman.
“The state lottery is set up to benefit our environment and natural resources,” Erickson said. Lottery proceeds for Benton, Mille Lacs, Morrison and Sherburne counties totaled over $4 million in 2006.
The following is a table identifying the amount of money spent in 2006 on lottery games in area communities and an estimate of the proceeds that went to the state’s General Fund, the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, the Game and Fish Fund and the Natural Resources Fund:
Lottery revenues totaled a record $450 million in 2006, a 10 percent increase over 2005. The lottery generated $68 million for the state’s General Fund, $10.6 million to the Natural Resources Trust Fund, $10.6 million to the Game and Fish Fund and $32 million to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund in 2005.
Erickson provided the following examples of what Minnesota Lottery proceeds have been used for in the area:
Benton County: Grants were provided for more than 130 different local environmental initiatives, including the purchase of 54 acres of land along the Mississippi River across from Stearns County park and adjacent to a Wildlife Management Area as well as an additional 235 acres known as the Graves farm for a future regional park.
Mille Lacs County: A grant to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture helped install the methane digester fuel cell at the Haubenschild dairy farm near Princeton.
Morrison County: A program was funded that would build the information base necessary to sustain freshwater mussels in Minnesota, specifically in the Long Prairie River.
Sherburne County: Land was acquired near Becker in Sherburne County, southeast of the Sherco power plant to experiment with cleaning contaminated aquifers.
More information on the Minnesota State Lottery, including gambling addiction resources, can be found on their website, www.mnlottery.com. Persons struggling with gambling addiction can also call the Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-333-HOPE, which is run by the Minnesota Institute of Public Health.
Sondra Erickson represents District 16A in the Minnesota House of Representatives, including all or parts of Benton, Mille Lacs, and Morrison counties. Erickson is taught English and journalism at Princeton High School for more than 30 years until her retirement in 2000. First elected in a 1998 special election, Erickson was re-elected in the 1998 general election and every two years since. She resides in Princeton.