HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY - Governor Tom Corbett announced Friday that the state will accept a bid from the British firm Camelot Global Services. They run Great Britain's lottery. The bid is reportedly worth $34 billion dollars to Pennsylvania over 20 years.
WTAJ News went to find out who's at risk going forward.
The union that represents state lottery employees tells us that more than 100 state employees expect to lose their jobs. They also say funding for senior citizen programs and services will be cut.
There are 220 people that work for the Pennsylvania Lottery, both union and management. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is the biggest union in the state. They represent 175 of the employees at risk. David Fillman is the Executive Director of their 13th
"...The Commonwealth has told us that 70 people will be staying even with Camelot in place but we don't know who those 70 people are. More than a hundred will be losing their jobs unfortunately to a British firm."
Fillman says employees got an e-mail just before 5pm Friday afternoon about their future with Camelot.
"...They have the ability to be interviewed by Camelot but there's no guarantee of a job at all, they'll probably be laid off."
The Pennsylvania Lottery is the 6th biggest in the country. Last fiscal year, it brought in more than $3.4 billion in sales. More than $1 billion was profit. We asked Fillman why the state would let a private company run a cash cow?
"...Pennsylvania is the only state where their lottery proceeds go purely to senior programs..."
Corbett's administration says they have to make the lottery more profitable. Right now, at least 27% from the $3.4 billion goes specifically to senior programs. It was slated to go up to 30% in 2015. Fillman says the Camelot bid states that the amount gets dropped to 20%.
Fillman says the core senior programs that'll be hit is transportation for the handicapped, rent rebates, and senior centers. As far as he knows it was Corbett's decision alone to accept the bid. Local lawmakers we spoke with were split on the issue. State Representative Rick Saccone
(R-39th District) says it was worth considering.
"In a global economy you have to consider all avenues"
But State Senator Timothy Solobay (D-46th District) doesn't agree.
"...You turn it over to another company, you're not sure what they're, how they're going to treat their employees..."
The union was scheduled to meet with the Senate Finance Committee on Monday. Fillman says they've already filed three different lawsuits, including one challenging Governor Corbett's authority to make this ruling on his own. He says they won't stop fighting for their employees.