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LOTTERY WORKERS JOIN LEGISLATORS & RETIREES IN LAWSUIT TO STOP LOTTERY PRIVATIZATION DEAL

Lottery workers JOIN legislators & RETIREES IN LAWSUIT to stop lottery privatization DEAL

HARRISBURG – (Dec. 17, 2012) AFSCME Council 13 today joined with seven Democrat lawmakers, workers and retirees in a lawsuit filed in Commonwealth Court to prevent the Corbett administration from privatizing management of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

The suit asks the court to enjoin the administration from implementing a private management agreement (PMA) with Camelot Global Services PA LLC, a United Kingdom based company that is the only company to submit a bid to take over the lottery.

“This is a bad deal all around – for our members and for Pennsylvania’s seniors,” said Dave Fillman, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13.

“This administration is trying to rush this deal through while the legislature is not in session and without any public input or scrutiny whatsoever. We believe their actions are illegal and we are confident we will prevail in court,” Fillman added.

The suit alleges that the original legislation that established the agency – the Lottery Act of 1971 – does not give the governor the right to privatize the management of the lottery without legislative approval. The suit also alleges that the proposed expansion of the lottery to include Keno and online ticket sales is not provided for in the original law and must also be approved by the legislature.

AFSCME has also filed a grievance under its contract and has asked for an extension to allow more time to file a counter-proposal to keep management of the lottery in house.  The lawmakers joining the suit are Sens. Christine Tartaglione and John Wozniak and Reps. Anthony DeLuca, Scott Conklin, Margo L. Davidson, Ed Neilson and Michael O’Brien.

Four AFSCME members who work at the lottery and two retired senior citizens who benefit from lottery-funded programs also joined the suit. 

“Our lottery is the only one in the nation to dedicate all profits to programs for seniors. Every single $1 that would go to Camelot comes at the expense of life-saving programs for our seniors,” Fillman said. “We set a record for sales last year. It operates very efficiently and should be a model for the nation. Instead, this administration is running a year-end clearance sale. It makes absolutely no sense.”

Lawmakers in both parties have raised objections about the secretive negotiations that the Corbett administration has conducted with Camelot. In addition, GOP and Democrat lawmakers agree that the Corbett administration needs legislative approval to expand the lottery.

AFSCME, PA Alliance for Retired Americans, small business owners and thousands of Pennsylvanians have joined forces at www.protectourlottery.org to derail this proposal. The Protect Our Lottery coalition is urging Pennsylvanians to contact Gov. Corbett directly and voice their opposition to this risky scheme.

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Click here to see a PDF version of press release.