Issue highlights problem with budgeting based on speculation
BOSTON, Mass. — When Massachusetts lawmakers approved a $24.7 billion state budget last week, they included $25 million in expected revenue from the multi-state lottery game, Powerball.
The trouble is, the state's bid to become a part of the game had been rejected and state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill neglected to let legislators know.
To make matters worse, the inclusion of Powerball revenue in the state budget was based upon the notion that the Multi-State Lottery Association and the Mega Millions Group would allow tickets for the games to be sold within the same state — a concept that has been rejected in the past, and which was never based on reality.
Cahill told the Boston Herald that it was his mistake not to inform lawmakers of the rejection, but he added that the money should not have been counted on in the first place.
Senate Ways and Means Chairman Steven Panagiotakos says the money was included in the budget because Cahill gave the impression that Massachusetts would be admitted to the lottery.
The rejection took place more than three weeks before the budget was approved.
Thanks to chasingadream for the tip.