State Sen. Tony Avella is calling on the state to adopt legislation he proposed that would create a new Lottery scratch-off game through which proceeds would be dedicated to a community grant fund.
In the past two years, the executive branch of the state has eliminated discretionary funds to fund local programs in legislators' districts, which has placed the burden on local groups that previously relied on the funding.
Avella, D-Bayside, said he wants the state to raise money for a community grant fund through a Lottery scratch-off game.
"Youth groups, senior centers, cultural organizations and Little Leagues provide essential services and rely on discretionary funding to survive," the senator said. "These groups certainly are not pork. With declining sources of funding, these groups need a dedicated community grant fund. My legislation is an innovative way to provide these groups with the funding they desperately need."
Avella said he was concerned that many groups in his district, such as the 25-year-old Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Community Center, would be forced to close their programs due to a lack of funding.
The senator had scheduled a rally on Thursday at noon on the steps of Queens Borough Hall to call for the state to create the Lottery game. State Assemblyman David Weprin, D-Little Neck, and a variety of community board members and non-profits were expected to attend.