HARRISBURG, January 14, 2013 – – State Sen. John Blake, Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement regarding the announcement that Gov. Corbett has issued notice to accept a bid to privatize the operations of the Pennsylvania State Lottery system:

“It is difficult day for Pennsylvania workers, small businesses and taxpayers and it is a particularly disconcerting day for Pennsylvania’s senior citizens – many whose livelihoods rely upon programs funded through the proceeds of the Pennsylvania State Lottery.  The privatization of operations for our nationally-renowned and profitable lottery system is disappointing for many reasons but perhaps none more so than the fact that it is being undertaken unilaterally by Governor Corbett without proper consultation with the Pennsylvania General Assembly that represents the same people who this Governor was elected to serve.”

“Notwithstanding the administration’s decision to proceed with the award of a Private Management Agreement (PMA) with Camelot, I join with my colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus and with AFSCME in demanding a proper legal accounting in court as to the constitutional authority and the unilateral discretion being exercised by the Corbett administration in this matter.”

“I commend Senator Mike Brubaker for his leadership and his diligent efforts to allow the General Assembly to weigh in on this decision – which is of great consequence to our senior citizens across the state.  The dialogue in today’s Senate Finance Committee hearing will at least answer some of the many questions surrounding the procurement process for this PMA; the terms and conditions of the contract to be awarded to Camelot by Governor Corbett; the impact of this action on state workers; the legality of this expansion of gaming in this state; and, most importantly, the future security of the essential programs that serve our senior citizens — including local senior centers, transportation assistance as well as the property tax and rent rebate programs.

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