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Hoosier lottery bill approved

23 February 2007

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – As reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal: "A Senate committee approved legislation yesterday to privatize the Hoosier Lottery after university officials said they needed the money it would generate to attract top researchers and boost life sciences.

"…Senate Bill 577 passed 7-5 largely along party lines, with Republicans providing the votes needed to move it to the full chamber. The proposal is part of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels' agenda and authorizes the state to take bids from private companies to operate the state lottery for 30 years.

"The state could accept a bid that met a $1 billion minimum as long as the company agreed to continue paying the state $200 million annually, the amount of lottery profits already dedicated to ongoing programs.

"The proposal's legislative author, Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, said he's hopeful the lottery will bring an even higher bid. If so, the state would use the money to reduce unfunded pension liability for local police and firefighters.

"…SB 577 allocates $400 million of the $1 billion minimum bid to scholarships, including at least one for a top student at every Indiana high school…"

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