Measure Would Use Lottery Money for Jail

joco sos lotteryGRANTS PASS, Ore. — A citizen group wants an item on the November ballot to raise money for Josephine County’s public safety system, but the group admits it has a long way to go.

Members of “Securing Our Safety” are gathering signatures for a measure that would change how Oregon Lottery funds are used. If the measure passes, it would give counties 50 percent of net lottery proceeds for things like public safety, economic development, and schools.

Group members said the measure would allow local counties to decide what is most important to fund, instead of letting the decision be made by state leaders.

“We face eight percent unemployment, 30 percent dropout rate, we’re closing jails and letting inmates free,” said group organizer Cliff Thomason. “So local problems should be addressed locally.”

The group still needs to gather 116,000 valid signatures statewide in the next four months. Securing Our Safety organizers said that means they need to raise $400,000 in six weeks to pay for mailers and signature-gatherers.