One Down, One to Go!

The only things standing in the way of the private management of the Pennsylvania Lottery are reviews by the Attorney General, Treasurer, and Auditor General. They each have 30 days to review Governor Tom Corbett’s decision to hand the administration of the Lottery over to Camelot Global Services. Their review is limited to the scope of their offices.

“The Attorney General reviews it for its legality, the Treasurer on its financials,” said Jay Pagni, a spokesman for the Department of General Services. “None can review on policy.”

Regardless, no one should have to review this move on policy because it is good public policy. Proceeds from the Lottery go to underwrite prescription drugs for seniors and to fund other programs for older Pennsylvanians. The Lottery last year generated more than $1 billion. Camelot is promising to increase that amount by at least 10 percent. This means more benefits for older Pennsylvanian’s and less of a burden on the Commonwealth’s taxpayers.

The Administration says the move is necessary because by 2030, 25 percent of the state’s population will be 60 or older.

The Governor signed the contract with Camelot Global Services last week. In another week or two he is set to announce a plan to privatize the Liquor Control Board (LCB).

The very announcement of the plan is perhaps more important than its details. The Governor breathed new life into the privatization late last year when he said it would be one of his top priorities in the new year. House Floor Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) fell shy of the support he needed to get the plan a vote on the floor. The Governor’s active backing of privatizing the LCB could put it over the top.

“The process of right-sizing state government after many years of unchecked growth is finally underway,” said PMA Executive Director David N. Taylor. “Pennsylvanians deserve a state government that successfully upholds its Constitution requirements while living within the taxpayers’ means. Meeting that goal will require getting more value out of dollars already being spent, finding new and better ways to fulfill state government functions, and divesting assets and functions that are not central to state government’s mission. It is heartening to see the first steps in that direction.”