January 4, 2013
By Stephen Goldsmith Hard times for cities and states have produced many public-private partnerships - some good for government, some not so good. Getting the balance right requires strong, well-advised public leadership. Selling a city or state's future revenues to bail out past mistakes raises red flags. Success is more likely when private innovation is introduced into public asset management to unlock new revenues and services. Gov. Corbett's plan to bring private management to the Pennsylvania Lottery promises to do just that, boosting funding for the senior citizen programs that rely on the lottery.
January 2, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - A potential deal to privatize management of the Pennsylvania Lottery was put off for an additional 10 days Monday after Gov. Corbett and a British company agreed to extend negotiations. Hours before the $34 billion bid by Camelot Global Services PA L.L.C. was set to expire, the Revenue Department announced the bid was extended until Jan. 10. The Revenue Department said the additional period would provide sufficient time for the lottery workers' union to submit a proposal of its own. The state also is waiting for a risk-mitigation consultant's report about whether Camelot is a suitable manager.
December 31, 2012
Better late than never, Gov. Corbett's sugarplum visions of a privately managed Pennsylvania Lottery look like they're in line for some much-needed public scrutiny - and maybe a reality check. The proposed agreement to have sole-bidder Camelot Global Services PA L.L.C. run the already hugely profitable lottery - with a pledge from the British firm to leapfrog the state's returns over the next 20 years - was developed largely behind the scenes by Corbett aides. But before the state gambles on privatizing a service that provides $1 billion annually for programs benefiting elderly Pennsylvanians, officials need to be certain that the move is a much better bet than any scratch-off lottery ticket.
December 28, 2012
HARRISBURG - Corbett administration officials say they are willing to appear before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on a proposal to hire a company to manage the $3.5 billion Pennsylvania Lottery. A spokeswoman for Gov. Corbett's Department of Revenue said Thursday that officials would be happy to answer questions in any format. The hearing was set for Jan. 14. Monday is the deadline for the Corbett administration to decide on a British lottery operator's sole bid to manage the lottery system on a 20- to 30-year contract, but talks are under way to postpone that.
December 25, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - For Gov. Corbett, the next few weeks will be critical in deciding whether he salvages his administration's most aggressive foray to date into privatizing state government services. For months, Corbett has been working behind the scenes to bring in a private company to manage the Pennsylvania lottery, which last fiscal year recorded more than $3.5 billion in sales and more than $1 billion in profits that went toward programs that benefit the state's senior citizens.
December 18, 2012
HARRISBURG - A union representing state workers has filed a lawsuit that seeks to prevent the Corbett administration from privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery. Gov. Corbett is weighing a 20- to 30-year agreement with Camelot Global Services to manage the $3.5 billion lottery. Currently, the 41-year-old lottery is run by the Department of Revenue. AFSCME Council 13, which represents 233 lottery employees, filed suit Monday in Commonwealth Court. Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley called the suit frivolous.
December 17, 2012
Although it once employed the commonwealth's most irritating groundhog, the Pennsylvania Lottery is an economic engine, the envy of other states. The lottery boasted record sales of $3.4 billion last fiscal year - including $1 billion that went to programs for senior citizens - all with negligible administrative costs. I'm no fan of the lottery; I see it as a regressive tax on the poor. But love it or loathe it, the lottery is a model of efficiency and transparency. "We're a pretty good barometer of complaints," Auditor General Jack Wagner said of his office.
December 13, 2012
HARRISBURG - The company seeking a contract with Gov. Corbett to run the Pennsylvania Lottery may not get paid unless its plans to expand gambling are clearly legal, state Treasurer Rob McCord said Wednesday. McCord's position could be a blow to Corbett's plans to possibly hire Britain-based Camelot Global Services, the only bidder for a 20-year contract to manage one of the nation's biggest lotteries. It could also force Corbett to seek specific approval from the legislature to allow the Pennsylvania Lottery to operate keno or online lottery games.
December 6, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Democratic lawmakers are taking aim at GOP Gov. Corbett's administration's move to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery's management, saying that it is shrouded in secrecy and will result in a corporate giveaway that diverts hundreds of millions of dollars from the state's services for the elderly. In a letter Friday, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, asked Corbett for a slew of documents, including the proposed management agreement between the state and Britain-based Camelot Global Services, an unredacted copy of Camelot's bid and a full explanation of the scope of expanded lottery gambling being considered.
December 5, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Democratic lawmakers are taking aim at the Corbett administration's move to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery's management, saying it is shrouded in secrecy and will result in a corporate giveaway that diverts hundreds of millions of dollars from the state's services for the elderly. In a letter Friday, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D., Allegheny) asked Gov. Corbett, a Republican, for a slew of documents, including the proposed management agreement between the state and the British firm Camelot Global Services, an unredacted copy of Camelot's bid, and a full explanation of the scope of expanded lottery gambling being considered.