Corbett’s second try at Lottery contract will be revealing
Facing a Saturday deadline to appeal its rejected Lottery contract in court, Gov. Tom Corbett is resubmitting the contract for private management of the Pennsylvania Lottery to Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
The attorney general previously rejected the Lottery contract, ruling state law does not allow the state to privatize the Lottery or expansion of gambling that the contract called for.
According to state Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, the revised contract would limit the scope of gambling.
Many Senate Republicans previously asked Corbett’s administration to make it clear the Lottery cannot compete with casinos through online gambling.
The Lottery employees union also has protested the contract on the grounds that employees would lose their jobs under the deal, but Camelot, the British firm bidding to manage the Lottery, contends it would would expand the number of Lottery employees.
The goal of all this is to produce greater and more stable Lottery profits for the state of Pennsylvania. That would in turn increase benefits for elderly programs, including transit, rent and property tax rebates, prescription drug assistance, senior centers and long-term care services.
Those would seem to be worthy goals.
Indiana and Illinois have hired private Lottery managers and New Jersey is moving in that direction. So it’s not as if Pennsylvania is out on a wayward planet when it comes to privatizing the Lottery.
If Corbett is making a good-faith second try, and we have no reason to believe otherwise, it behooves the attorney general to give the revisions a serious look.
We want to think the attorney general is in her job to be a watchdog only, not a political obstructionist.
This would be a great time to show it.
A relationship of two-way integrity between the governing administration regardless of party affiliation and the attorney general’s office is what state residents deserve.