Wow. Talk about a poorly managed place. I know the recession hit state coffers pretty hard, and that many are still operating in the red some seven years later, but the lottery is supposed to be a self-sustaining enterprise. You know, the reason jackpots go up is because more people enter, etc. and what have you.
But the state of Illinois is so goddanged broke, they can’t pay anyone who wins.
The problem, of course, stems from the government. And the fact that the state can’t agree on a fiscal year budget. That’s leaving organizations strapped for cash that was long promised.
The fight in the legislature has been going on since July. That’s the last time lottery winners were paid.
The IOUs are one of the many side effects of the stalemate over a new a budget between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state’s Democratic lawmakers who control the Illinois General Assembly.
“Payment delays will occur because there currently is no legal authority for the Illinois Comptroller or the Illinois Lottery to issue checks,” the Illinois Lottery said in a statement. “Please note that the funding to pay winners exists, but the legal authority to issue checks does not.”
I don’t buy that for a second. That money’s gone. Because…
The lottery has been delaying payments to big winners since the current fiscal year started on July 1. Initially, only winners who were set to get $25,000 or more were being receiving IOUs.
On Wednesday, the Illinois Lottery lowered the threshold to $600.
Yea they are broke. God, imagine how pissed you’d be. Meanwhile, other much more important money is also not being doled out.
Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger said Wednesday a $560 million payment due to Illinois’ pension system will also be delayed. She said that retirees will still receive benefit checks as scheduled. But the impasse has led to an immediate cash shortage, altering the way her office will dole out payments to the system.
Government! Who doesn’t love it.
[Via USA Today]