With an all time high of $449 million being sent to Virginia’s General Fund this year on part of the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Agency (ABC) nearly one billion in sales over the past year, and the Virginia Lottery sending $606 million to the state through massive sales, why no one calling for the agencies to be audited? They are two of the state’s largest money makers.
As government programs like Medicaid become topics of financial distress, the sense of “are my tax dollars being put to good use and corruption” becomes placed on the entirety of government.
Regardless of how well people believe the government is functioning in years past, ABC and VA Lottery have never been audited.
The Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission (JLARC) is a 45-year old, non-partisan analysis commission is made up of nine members of the House of Delegates, five of whom sit on the House Appropriations Committee, and five members of the Senate, including two of whom sit on the Senate Finance Committee.
It is this governmental body that may be warming to the task to audit two sources of growing revenue for the Commonwealth.
With all the talk of modernizing schools in Virginia and finding a way to pay for it following the Supreme Court’s decision in Wayfair – which could bring in over $250 million more dollars a year in state revenue, it may be time to look more closely at all the sources of school funding like VA Lottery.
Although no member of JLARC has proposed it, the commission has a standing responsibility to take regular look at economic development incentive programs, according the Code of Virginia, Title 30, Chapter 7.
Even with ABC, as far as talks are on the privatization of the more than 80-year-old agency, is would be nice to audit it while its still here.
As scrutiny is being placed of the expansion of government programs under the administration of Governor Ralph Northam, built on his predecessor Governor Terry McAuliffe, it is interesting that there aren’t entire organizations dedicated to this – especially from the Libertarians, a boisterous group itself.