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Florida Lottery sued by House over contract

Feb 22, 2017, 7:40 am

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Just another political battle masquerading as a lawsuit?

Florida's House of Representatives filed a lawsuit late Friday accusing the Florida Lottery of illegally signing a long-term contract for ticket sales, escalating a feud between House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Gov. Rick Scott a little more than a week before the legislative session begins.

Corcoran's decision to file the lawsuit represents a head-on confrontation with an agency overseen by Scott. In response, the governor's office slammed Corcoran, an attorney, as "a trial lawyer".

The House's lawsuit contends that the Lottery's contract with IGT Global Solutions Corp. is illegal because it spends more money than the Legislature has set aside for ticket machines in the current budget.

It asks a Leon County circuit court to find that Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie didn't have the authority to sign the deal, and that he should "take all steps necessary to avoid that contract."

The House says state law requires an agency to receive permission from the Legislature before signing a contract that would spend more money in an area of the budget — even in future years — than lawmakers have already allocated for that area.

"The Lottery, and any other agency for that matter, does not have the right to obligate the taxpayers of Florida by even a penny beyond what the people's elected Representatives say they can," Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, said in a statement issued by his office Friday. "This lawsuit filed today is about the rule of law and the protection of taxpayers."

Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz blasted the filing without responding specifically to the legal allegations in the lawsuit.

"The Florida Lottery's record sales have led to historic contributions to our state's education system and the House sues? Not shocking to have another lawsuit from a trial lawyer," Schutz said in an email.

The dispute stems from a contract that Delacenserie signed in September. The contract with IGT ran until 2028, and was essentially immediately extended to 2031 under an option.

The deal also changed the way in which the vendor was paid. In the past, the Lottery has paid a fixed amount to deploy and administer each machine. Under the new deal, IGT will get a slice of the sales of tickets, machines and other services.

Based on projected sales, that would boost the amount the Lottery needs to pay for the contract by $12.9 million in the budget year that begins July 1, according to the House. The suit says that bucks the entire reason that multi-year state contracts are limited to begin with.

"By doing so, the law protects against executive agencies trying to force the Legislature's hand in the budgeting process," the filing contends. "It also protects against agencies unleashing the lobbyists of private vendors to interfere with that process. This in turn ensures budgeting transparency and predictability."

The lawsuit comes amid an increasingly acrimonious clash between Corcoran, who has shaken the Tallahassee establishment with his hard-charging approach, and Scott.

The two men have already engaged in a war of words over economic incentives for businesses, with Corcoran arguing they amount to "corporate welfare" and Scott saying that zeroing out the funds as Corcoran wants would cost Florida jobs.

Both men are expected to run for higher office in 2018. Scott is widely believed to be eyeing a challenge to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, while Corcoran is reportedly considering a run for governor.

Orlando Weekly

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15 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by cbr$.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
25
New Jersey
United States
Member #17842
June 28, 2005
126140 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 22, 2017, 7:51 am - IP Logged

What is the Lottery to the State that Hosts it?

Just one of many Streams of Income!

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

    haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
    Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
    United States
    Member #112964
    June 29, 2011
    4135 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 22, 2017, 9:45 am - IP Logged

    The days of Lotteries doing whatever they <snip> well please is coming to an end...hopefully !

    This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

    Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #164719
      March 12, 2015
      1300 Posts
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      Posted: February 22, 2017, 9:48 am - IP Logged

      I would love to know their salaries, benefits, retirement, etc.  I suspect being on one of those commissions/boards is lucrative.

        haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
        Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
        United States
        Member #112964
        June 29, 2011
        4135 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 22, 2017, 9:48 am - IP Logged

        The days of Lotteries doing whatever they <snip> well please is coming to an end...hopefully !

        This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

        Oh...sorry...that word sounds like the word for a structure that holds back water on a river.

        Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

          Raven62's avatar - binary
          25
          New Jersey
          United States
          Member #17842
          June 28, 2005
          126140 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 22, 2017, 10:47 am - IP Logged

          Oh...sorry...that word sounds like the word for a structure that holds back water on a river.

          A Dike?

          A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

          Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

          Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #164719
            March 12, 2015
            1300 Posts
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            Posted: February 22, 2017, 11:14 am - IP Logged

            Dikephobia -- a fear of justice. 

            Yes, it is a real word! Jester

              Avatar
              New York, NY
              United States
              Member #140630
              March 23, 2013
              10389 Posts
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              Posted: February 22, 2017, 11:55 am - IP Logged

              This is actually an interesting story. Especially the part about contractors receiving slices of ticket sales all of a sudden. I say let the law suit happen.

              Sometimes you do the right thing just because it’s right.

                Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                United States
                Member #142495
                May 13, 2013
                1390 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 22, 2017, 12:05 pm - IP Logged

                Scott's a crook, so I'm a-okay with people not rubber stamping any contracts he feels should be automatically approved. Even if he didn't have a history of shady dealings, his spokewoman's response makes no sense, and is a personal attack instead of a reasoned rebuttal. In the first place, why is it an insult to be a trial lawyer?In the second place, it doesn't matter how robust the sales of tickets are at the moment, if the law says a contract cannot be entered into that exceeds a set budget, then that's the law. Sure it's an unnecessary hassle to continually haggle over price points, but it's obviously in place to guard against this very thing.

                It's part of a check and balance system to keep costs at a minimum and to make sure any increases are justifiable. Since an increase in sales doesn't have to automatically merit an increase in expenses, Corcoran has a point. A lottery official shouldn't have the unilateral authority to agree to any contract that would cost more than established limits. I can't think of any properly managed corporation that would allow that either.

                  CARBOB's avatar - ga lottery.png.gif
                  COLUMBUS,GA.
                  United States
                  Member #4924
                  June 3, 2004
                  6697 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 22, 2017, 12:19 pm - IP Logged

                  I emailed Mr Corcoran and expressed my thoughts on subsidizing the state lottery. Their payouts are lower and their profits are higher since they began test draws.


                    Germany
                    Member #164597
                    March 8, 2015
                    803 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: February 22, 2017, 12:25 pm - IP Logged

                    Scott's a crook, so I'm a-okay with people not rubber stamping any contracts he feels should be automatically approved. Even if he didn't have a history of shady dealings, his spokewoman's response makes no sense, and is a personal attack instead of a reasoned rebuttal. In the first place, why is it an insult to be a trial lawyer?In the second place, it doesn't matter how robust the sales of tickets are at the moment, if the law says a contract cannot be entered into that exceeds a set budget, then that's the law. Sure it's an unnecessary hassle to continually haggle over price points, but it's obviously in place to guard against this very thing.

                    It's part of a check and balance system to keep costs at a minimum and to make sure any increases are justifiable. Since an increase in sales doesn't have to automatically merit an increase in expenses, Corcoran has a point. A lottery official shouldn't have the unilateral authority to agree to any contract that would cost more than established limits. I can't think of any properly managed corporation that would allow that either.

                    Keep in mind Rick Scott ran an attack ad on a constituent. Bizarre.

                      Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #142495
                      May 13, 2013
                      1390 Posts
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                      Posted: February 23, 2017, 12:54 am - IP Logged

                      Keep in mind Rick Scott ran an attack ad on a constituent. Bizarre.

                      Not surprised. His corrupt practices were on full display even before he entered politics and he was still voted in as Governor. Which is probably why it doesn't bother him how odd it looks to be attacking a guy for something that shouldn't have even been allowed to happen. I'll have to go do some more research on this because he's the governor, this is a law with high profile consequences stamped all over it, so why allow it in the first place? why fight it after allowing it? and why make a bigger stink than he has to while fighting it? What am I missing here? I know he's corrupt, I never pegged him for stupid. Then again, the last time he broke the law it was everyone around him who went to prison, while he walked.

                      I too would prefer Cersei Lannister to Tiny Hands. She always pays her debts, hasn't filed 6 bankruptcies and is educated enough to know Nambia isn't a country.

                        haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                        Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
                        United States
                        Member #112964
                        June 29, 2011
                        4135 Posts
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                        Posted: February 23, 2017, 9:32 am - IP Logged

                        A Dike?

                        LOL !

                        I thought that was half of a pair of pliers...have one of those in the box of broken tools !

                        Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                          CARBOB's avatar - ga lottery.png.gif
                          COLUMBUS,GA.
                          United States
                          Member #4924
                          June 3, 2004
                          6697 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 23, 2017, 5:53 pm - IP Logged

                          I emailed Mr Corcoran and expressed my thoughts on subsidizing the state lottery. Their payouts are lower and their profits are higher since they began test draws.

                          Got a response back. Maybe, just maybe I got something stirred. I hope so.

                           

                           
                          Bobby,
                          Thanks so much for your input.  I'll keep it in mind.
                          Richard
                          On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:12 PM:
                          Comment: Hon Richard Corcoran,
                          I don't think the voters should support the Florida Lottery. They generate a lot of money for profit the way it is now. They conduct test draws on every ball game which lowers the number of winners and lowers their payout. They don't publicize the test results for the players to know the test draws being conducted. If you can do anything about that, please do.
                          Thank You
                          Bob Walters

                            Germany
                            Member #164597
                            March 8, 2015
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                            Posted: February 23, 2017, 6:18 pm - IP Logged

                            That sounds like the typical non-answer.

                            Also your post contains personal info. You might want to edit it.