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Friday, February 17, 2012

Causer Says Lottery Fund Study Shows Slow Growth, But Senior Programs Solvent For Now


Lottery Fund Study Shows Slow Growth, But Senior Programs Solvent For Now, Causer Says

HARRISBURG – The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee has released its comprehensive assessment of the Pennsylvania Lottery Fund. The study was conducted under the direction of House Resolution 106, sponsored by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint).

“Senior citizens in our area and across the state rely on a number of programs funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery, including the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program,” Causer said. “With the legalization of slots and table games in Pennsylvania, it is important to know the status of the lottery fund both now and in the future to ensure the sustainability of these vital programs.”

According to the report, officials are projecting little annual growth over the next five years in lottery sales. In fact, sales have been stagnating since fiscal year 2005-06, likely due to the weak economy and slower growth in the lottery’s retail sales network.

However, the study shows that the lottery-funded senior citizen benefit programs will remain solvent for the next five years as long as sales do not plummet and as long as lawmakers don’t expand existing lottery-funded programs or add new ones.

Currently, the lottery fund supports a variety of programs, such as Property Tax/Rent Rebate; PACE, PACENET and PACE Plus Medicare prescription benefit programs; free transit and reduced fare shared-ride services; long-term living services; and Area Agencies on Aging.

“I am pleased that there appears to be no immediate danger of senior citizens losing benefits that help with their housing, transportation and health care costs,” Causer said. “However, our population is aging, and if lottery sales continue to stagnate, we could be faced with some difficult decisions in the next decade.”

Pennsylvania currently has one of the oldest populations in the country, with 15.4 percent of citizens age 65 or older. By 2030, it is expected that senior citizens will represent 22.5 percent of the total population.

To improve the long-term solvency of the lottery fund, the report made the following recommendations:

The Pennsylvania Lottery should pursue expanding its retail network to facilitate an increase in ticket sales and continue to analyze approaches being used in other states to stimulate sales.

The General Assembly should limit the use of lottery funds to those programs and services currently funded in that manner.

Greater effort should be made to improve the accuracy of projections made by various state agencies that receive lottery funds for programs under their jurisdiction.

To read the full report, visit RepCauser.com.

5 comments :

Anonymous said...

didn't corbett put his dirty little hands in that pa lottery already... that's why growth is slow..

Anonymous said...

causer is looking for a way to get some monies out. it won't be long.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if you had a better chance of winning something. I don't play often, but used to buy $20 - $50 worth of tickets every once in a while. I'm lucky to win anything, if I do its only a free ticket or $2. I refuse to spend my money on it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because people have less money to waste on gambling. The casinos are "suffering," too. Good.

Anonymous said...

Causer and his cronies already know how much money is in the lottery fund. And they have voted to take 30% of it beginning next year. I saw the report in the Bradford Era some months ago. This is outright theft and the voters will not put up with it.