|Rep. Mark Painter
146th Legislative District
Painter joins legal effort opposing lottery scheme that will hurt Pa. seniors
HARRISBURG, Jan. 24 – State Rep. Mark Painter has added his name to an amicus brief that will be filed opposing the Corbett administration's decision to privatize management of the 41-year-old Pennsylvania Lottery by contracting with a foreign company.
Painter said House and Senate Democrats plan to file the "friend of the court," or amicus brief, supporting a lawsuit brought last month by AFSCME. In addition to the union, the petitioners on the suit include a handful of House and Senate members, lottery employees who stand to lose their jobs if the privatization goes forward, and senior citizens who receive benefits from the commonwealth funded by lottery proceeds.
The suit alleges, among other claims, that Gov. Tom Corbett does not have the statutory authority to enter into the management contract with Camelot Global Services PA LLC, the United Kingdom-based private company which was the lone bidder for the lucrative management contract.
"It was really a shock for me as a newly elected legislator, on my way to Harrisburg with ideas on how to make life better for the people of my district to discover that before I even got here, the governor took it upon himself to sign away control of the lottery without even consulting with those who represent the people who will be most affected," said Painter, D-Montgomery.
The Corbett lottery scheme was the subject of this week's public hearings held by the state House Aging and Older Services Committee. Last week, House and Senate Democratic leaders sent a letter to new Attorney General Kathleen Kane asking that she reject the plan.
"Every dollar that the governor shifts to profit a foreign corporation is a dollar lost to our seniors. That's less money for property tax relief, and less money for prescription drug assistance," Painter said.
The Pennsylvania Lottery had a record year in 2011-12, with sales of nearly $3.5 billion and profits of more than $1 billion. For this fiscal year, lottery sales are on pace for another record, with profits nearly 10 percent higher than they were a year ago.
Painter said thelottery’s yearly impact on Montgomery County is profound: $14.1 million for PACE/PACENET prescription-drug assistance, $8.9 million for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, $7.3 million for the operation of Area Agency on Aging programs and senior centers, $13.7 million in long-term living services, and $7 million for the Shared/Free Ride Transportation Program. The lottery also distributed $97 million in prizes in the county.
Painter said he encourages constituents to call Corbett's office at 717-787-2500 and express their opposition to the lottery plan. He also said they can sign the online petition at http://bit.ly/WmSIXS.