Gov.'s Lottery Privatization Plan 'Illegal,' Attorney General Says
Kathleen Kane says governor's plan infringes on the Legislature's power to make policy decisions.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to privatize the Pennsylvania lottery system. Corbett, who had pitched in idea to allow a British lottery firm to run the state's successful lotto, said he was "disappointed.
Calling the plan "illegal," according to philly.com, Kane's announcement shocked many.
"[The announcement] may as well have been a declaration of political war," said the article on philly.com.
Despite political reprecussions, Kane stood by her statement.
"It is our duty to defend and protect the Constitution of our Commonwealth and that is what our office has done by declining this contract," said Kane, reading a statement to reporters at her office, according to StandardSpeaker.com.
"She said the contract infringes on the Legislature's power to make policy decisions regarding the Lottery, provides for keno games which aren't authorized under the lottery act and usurps authority of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board," said the website.
Corbett's camp was not happy with the decision.
"We are disappointed with Attorney General Kane's decision to reject the private management contract," spokesman David LaTorre said on behalf of Camelot Global Services PA, according to TribLive.com. "We guarantee our proposal will produce unprecedented profits for senior programs, and we have backed our investment in Pennsylvania with $200 million."
According to TribLive, the governor will still have an opportunity to appeal the rejection from Kane.
"Corbett is able to appeal to Commonwealth Court under the law," said Duquesne University Law School professor Bruce Ledewitz to TribLive. "Time is of the essence for Corbett, but this will not be quick," Ledewitz said.
State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) who serves as Democratic Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee said that Kane took the correct course in refusing to approve the Private Management Agreement (PMA) in a Friday release sent to the press.
“We do not need a foreign-based company managing the operations of the Lottery when we have Pennsylvania residents with the ability to produce more dollars to bolster senior programs,” Hughes said.
Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) agreed.
“We can do a better job and do it in an open process involving the current Lottery personnel,” Williams, Senate Democratic Whip, said. “The Attorney General was clear that the General Assembly needs to be involved and that arbitrary action cannot be taken by the administration. There is no reason why we cannot open the process and allow the Lottery to suggest ways it can generate even more profits.”