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Politics & Government

Gov. Corbett Still Negotiating Deadline for Lotto Bid

The Corbett administration says it is trying to push a year-end deadline back by two or three weeks to decide whether to lease the operations of the Pennsylvania Lottery to a private company.  The main reason the commonwealth is pushing for more time has to do with the union that represents some of the lottery’s employees.

By contract, the union is allowed to make its own counter-offer to the private bid on the lottery, and it just got an extension, making its offer due in early January.  But state Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser says there is another reason the commonwealth is pursuing a later deadline.

"The governor is very concerned about what I consider to be ridiculous claims that this has been a – that this process has lacked transparency."

Meuser said the request for an extension is not necessarily an easy one to grant.

"Any extension at this point is unfavorable to the bidder and could negatively affect the outcomes of bringing in a business growth manager that would deliver."

Meuser and another Corbett administration official have, together, held more than 100 meetings with Republican and Democratic state legislators, however, only one of those meetings was public – a hearing this past spring.

There might be another shot at quieting transparency concerns before a bid is finalized.  The chair of the Senate Finance Committee has just put a public hearing on the schedule for mid-January.