Lottery Workers Fight Privatization Plan

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, May 18, 2007

A gimmick.  That’s what Jim Hard, President of Service Employees International 1000 calls the Governor’s lottery plan.  His union represents most of the roughly 400 lottery employees.   He says the Governor should first try to make structural changes in the lottery to increase revenue:

“Any private equity firm, anybody that wants to make the revenue of the lottery rise is going to have to make the same kind of changes that could be made under state management.”

Hard says the union will fight the move, and talks with administration officials are planned.  But Governor Schwarzenegger was fairly clear about his view when he unveiled his revised budget recently:

 “It does not nearly perform as well as in other states.  We can double or triple the revenues from the lottery if we maintain ownership but lease it to the private sector to manage the sales.

Schwarzenegger would use money from the deal to pay off debt early – freeing up money for other things.