State Gov. Committee releases Lottery bill

The Senate State Government Committee released a bill, along party lines, that would require the Legislature to approve the sale of any functions related to Lottery operations.

The Christie Administration has been seeking to privatize the sales and marketing staff of the Lottery.

Seth Hahn, of CWA, which represents 150 Lottery workers – 63 of whom are slated to lose their jobs if the portions of the Lottery are privatized – supports the bill.

“I think that this bill is vital in order to have the process taxpayers deserve,” he said.

Locally owned storekeepers in Illinois have lost between 20 to 40 percent of their revenue, since many of the Lottery vendors are opting to sell the tickets to big box stores rather than the mom and pop stores, the committee was told.

The state Lottery is one of the state’s largest sources of revenue.

Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18) Metuchen, supports the bill.

“Why open an efficiently run system to a source of disputes,” she said. “I think it’s a mistake.”

But Sen. Sam Thompson said he was surprised the ticket sellers would focus mostly on big-box establishments.

“You just would not have the same market you have (with local mom and pops),” he said.

Under the plan, a $120 million upfront payment will be made by the private vendor if the transition took place.   

State Gov. Committee releases Lottery bill