The Florida Lottery is under legal attack. House Speaker Richard Corcoran is suing the lottery, claiming it violated state law when the agency negotiated a $700 million contract with global gaming company IGT. It's a deal Corcoran claims the lottery did without the legislature's approval.
"What we're trying to say is follow the law," says Corcoran.
"You can't have a state agency go out and say we are bigger than the legislature and enter into contracts that bind taxpayer money beyond the authority we have given them," says Corcoran.
The lawsuit says the lottery overstepped it's authority and forced "the legislature’s hand in the budgeting process."
"They took what we appropriated to them, increased it by 20 percent, keep mind this is taxpayer dollars, increased it by 20 percent and did it without our approval," says Corcoran.
IGT makes everything from slot machines to lottery games, with offices from Las Vegas to Rome.
Under the state contract, IGT would elevate the Florida lottery into the future, increasing the number of lottery machines, with an emphasis on self-service vending machines.
The lawsuit comes at a time when the lottery hit a major milestone and just announced that it has generated $31 billion in funds for education since it started in 1988.
Don Creley with the Florida Lottery says, "(We've) raised over. A billion dollars for education over the 16 consecutive years."
Billions raised for the classroom, but now it's the court that will decide if the "House Wins" in the debate over a $700-million deal that could re-shape the future of the lottery, with local schools affected by the outcome.
The Governor's office responding with this statement:
“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.”
That's a reference to Speaker Corcoran, who's an attorney.
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