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Deal struck, Illinois Lottery winners to be paid

Dec 3, 2015, 10:42 am

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Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Deal struck, Illinois Lottery winners to be paidRating:

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Democrats on Wednesday struck a rare agreement, compromising on a plan to release more than $3.1 billion to pay Illinois Lottery winners and help cities and towns operate 911 centers, plow roads and train firefighters.

Normally, municipalities receive a share of gas tax, 911 surcharge and gambling revenue to help prop up day-to-day operations, but those dollars have been on hold due to the state budget impasse. Legislation passed 107-1 by the House would free those funds. Of the total, $1 billion for the lottery, which had stopped making large payouts because the state hasn't had a budget since July 1.

The measure also would restore funding for Choose Chicago, the city's tourism arm, which announced in October that it would have to lay off one-fourth of its staff and close two international offices without state assistance. Spokeswoman Meghan Risch said Wednesday's action means the group can move ahead with a winter advertising campaign that had been put on hold.

The bulk of the $3.1 billion in new spending is money set aside in accounts earmarked for specialized purposes, though lawmakers also signed off on $28 million in spending from the state's main checking account. About $18 million of that will go to domestic violence shelters and another $10 million was set aside for the Secretary of State's office, which stopped mailing yearly reminders for drivers to renew their vehicle registration because of the budget crunch.

While that $28 million represents a small portion of overall state spending, legislators in both parties expressed concerns that money will only add to Illinois' pile of unpaid bills. The stack has grown drastically as various court orders and laws left the state spending more money than it's taking in. By year's end, Comptroller Leslie Munger projects the backlog could reach $8.5 billion.

Still, Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, argued that the "piecemeal approach is better than no approach at all."

"This is a negotiated settlement, the governor decided it was time to govern, so he's asked for items to make his agencies operate the way that they should," said Currie, who noted that key areas that remain unfunded include colleges and universities, scholarship programs for low-income students and various programs for victims of sexual assault and those with developmental disabilities.

The governor initially opposed an earlier plan to disburse the money, saying the additional spending would force a tax increase. But Rauner switched positions, saying he would support the bill if it also included more money for things like debt payments and salting and plowing of roads.

Rauner billed the move as a compromise, although it also provided him political cover as some House Republicans were willing to vote for the Democratic plan in the face of pressure from suburban mayors to free up the money. House Democrats ignored his requests and pressed on with their first plan, but ultimately used a procedural move to prevent the legislation from going to the Senate while the latest deal was worked out.

Following Wednesday's House vote, Rauner said there were some things in the bill he liked and some things he didn't, but "what we did is we compromised."

"It does add a bit to our deficit spending, it does do that," Rauner said. "But in the spirit of working together, obviously the Democrats, the speaker's caucus would like to spend far more than what we are spending right now, I said no to that."

The Senate is scheduled to return to the Capitol on Monday to vote on the legislation, which was hailed by government groups.

"When the bill is approved by the Senate and signed into law by the governor, municipalities will finally have the much needed relief to make ends meet with this crucial funding," Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League said in a statement. "There is an urgency to have these funds distributed as rapidly as possible."

Rauner and Democrats also were able to find common ground on a bill that could make workers ineligible for unemployment benefits if they do things like drink on the job, lie on an employment application or refuse to follow an employer's instructions.

The rapprochement is expected to be short-lived, as neither side appears ready to cave on the bigger budget battle, which has seen the state enter its sixth month without a complete spending plan.

"My sense is that we are in a little bit in a treading water phase," Rauner said. "We'll have a dialogue, but we all know where we are."

Thanks to Ed for the tip.

Chicago Tribune

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14 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by Gleno.
Page 1 of 1
Slick Nick's avatar - RYc5Gcw
United States
Member #103278
January 1, 2011
952 Posts

Fair is fair! If you promote a game, lottery, etc., you must back your words! Smash

Money is a terrible master, but a great servant...Smile

    Erzulieredeyes's avatar - spider miss.png
    Painesville, Ohio
    United States
    Member #117713
    October 12, 2011
    215 Posts

    Took em' long enough!


      United States
      Member #141028
      April 2, 2013
      1481 Posts

      About time. They better add some interest to that money. If they can pay millions to cover up a police shooting, I don't see why they are dragging their feet on getting these guys paid.

      Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

      Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

        hearsetrax's avatar - dbf9afa3cf5f7402577dd638c8fd78e2 r=pg&f=y&s=128&d=robohash

        United States
        Member #52343
        May 21, 2007
        3456 Posts

        why do I get a sneaking suspicion this won't be the last we hear of this story

          music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157849
          August 2, 2014
          3959 Posts

           The wheels of government grind slowly.  Thank God I live in California.No Pity!

           "We are all in this together!" 

            * In hot pursuit of $ *
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136471
            December 12, 2012
            6812 Posts

            In the famous words of Alexander the Great.... " Finally."

             * Voice of Reason *   

            * People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

              travelintrucker's avatar - morph
              Greenville, SC
              United States
              Member #169863
              November 4, 2015
              387 Posts

              I'm still not buying tickets in Illinois! That state is forever stained in my mind.

              May the balls bounce in your favor!

                Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                Zeta Reticuli Star System
                United States
                Member #30469
                January 17, 2006
                11659 Posts

                It only passed the House, the Senate votes on it next week.

                From the OP:
                "The Senate is scheduled to return to the Capitol on Monday to vote on the legislation, which was hailed by government groups."

                It will probably pass but right now winning tickets are still IOUs.

                Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 


                There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                  United States
                  Member #163182
                  January 22, 2015
                  2915 Posts

                  What gets me about the $5 million payout to 'that family' is they threw him into the foster care system at age three.  They didn't deserve one red cent IMO.  They certainly weren't there when they needed him.  That state sure seems borderline corrupt to me especially with this lottery fiasco.

                    Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
                    Bronx ny
                    United States
                    Member #158510
                    August 25, 2014
                    994 Posts

                    Yea now I gets my money, so I gives it all back boyeee!

                      Tialuvslotto's avatar - Jailin
                      United States
                      Member #150790
                      December 31, 2013
                      824 Posts

                      'Bout time!  Those donkeys have been sitting on their thumbs way too long. 

                      Unfortunately, releasing lottery funds to lottery winners and communities just takes pressure off the representatives so they can continue to fight amongst themselves rather than pass a budget.

                      "There is no such thing as luck; only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe."

                      ~Robert A. Heinlein


                        United States
                        Member #138597
                        February 1, 2013
                        35 Posts

                        About time. They better add some interest to that money. If they can pay millions to cover up a police shooting, I don't see why they are dragging their feet on getting these guys paid.

                        Police shootings (I guessing you're using it as an outrageous example in this context) aren't paid by the state. They're paid by the city.

                          savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                          adelaide sa
                          Member #37135
                          April 11, 2006
                          3341 Posts

                          They prob have noticed the  sharp drop in sales revenues.

                          " Still swinging, still missing "
                          2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016  = -1171; 2017 = -1257 ; 2018 = - 1380 =  TOT =  - 6233

                          keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= -424; 2017 =-427; 2018= -223   TOT = -3968


                            Gleno's avatar - Lottery-001.jpg
                            New Jersey
                            United States
                            Member #80352
                            September 25, 2009
                            723 Posts

                            It about time that got their act together,after almost killing the goose that laid their golden income streams!