by John Reiger; this article was originally published in Partisan issue no. 27, printed April 2009.

Deceptively called "The Lottery Modernization Act," this act allows the State of California to float a $5 billion loan based on hoped-for future lottery profits. Even if there are increased lottery profits in the future (a very uncertain assumption), we will pay interest on the loan. All of this will make it harder to balance future state budgets.

This act gives the lottery director more power, the power to avoid competitive bidding contracts, and lowest-bid contracts, on any contract up to $500,000. This "modernization" sounds like an invitation for fraud.

Audits of the lottery would be loosened. Yet this act would give the lottery director more power to arbitrarily award contracts.

This bill encourages greater promotion of the lottery. Lotteries are a drain on the budget of working families.

The Peace and Freedom Party proposes to balance Californias budget by closing corporate tax loopholes (many pay no income tax at all) and increasing the true tax rate on the rich (they often pay a smaller percentage of their income than people who work for a living).

Peace and Freedom Party believes that all workers should be paid good, union-level wages and should not have to gamble on the lottery to try to guarantee a decent life or a secure retirement.

John Reiger is a member of the Sacramento County Peace and Freedom Party

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