Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment. Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.
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Host: Scott LaMar
Radio Smart Talk for Thursday, January 17:
Gov. Tom Corbett has proposed contracting with a private company to operate the Pennsylvania Lottery. The idea is to find ways to generate more money -- that's even though the lottery produced a record $3.5 billion last year.
In fact, the governor has gone beyond the proposal stage. Last week, the Corbett Administration issued a "notice of award" to Camelot Global Services -- a British company that runs the United Kingdom's National Lottery. Camelot was the lone bidder and guarantees they will generate more than $34 billion for the Pennsylvania Lottery over the next 20 years.
Lottery sales are especially important because Pennsylvania's population is getting older and proceeds from the lottery pay for services for seniors like reduced fare or free public transportation, property tax and rent rebates, and low-cost prescription drugs. Gov. Corbett said on Radio Smart Talk two weeks ago that the aging population is the reason for privatizing the lottery. Even though the lottery set records the last two years, the Administration says it failed to reach profit goals in four of the last eight years.
The pending deal with Camelot has set off a storm of controversy. A number of legislators have complained the bid didn't get enough public scrutiny or comment, that the lottery is successful and doesn't need a fix, and that more than a hundred union workers could lose their jobs. Council 13 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union has filed suit against the move.
We'll hear the pros and cons of privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery on Thursday's Radio Smart Talk.
Appearing will be David Fillman, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13 and Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation.
Listen to the program:
David Fillman, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13 and Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation.
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