Eye On Boise

Lottery bill prompts Senate debate

Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, explains SB 1059a to other senators who had questions about the measure to allow higher incentive payments to Idaho Lottery retailers based on sales. Despite opposition, including much from opponents of the lottery who said they don't want sales pushed, the bill passed 19-14 and now moves to the House. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)
Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, explains SB 1059a to other senators who had questions about the measure to allow higher incentive payments to Idaho Lottery retailers based on sales. Despite opposition, including much from opponents of the lottery who said they don't want sales pushed, the bill passed 19-14 and now moves to the House. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Legislation to allow Idaho Lottery retailers to get larger incentive payments for increasing sales barely passed the Senate today, after much debate. "I don't need someone asking me if I want to super-size my lottery ticket," said Sen. Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. "It's designed for ... nothing else but to get them to push the lottery sales within their store. I think that's inappropriate for the state of Idaho, particularly when we're taking money away from education." Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, sponsor of the bill, said it was requested by the state Lottery Commission to allow incentive payments to retailers to vary and be as high as 2 percent, rather than the current 1 percent. No bottom-line change in proceeds to the state is anticipated, he said; it's more a management issue for the lottery in dealing with the timing of incentive payments.

Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, said, "I think we ought to give them the benefit of the doubt and let them run their operation." But Senate President Pro-Tem Bob Geddes, R-Soda Springs, said, "We don't need to see individual businesses going into a marketing campaign to increase their lottery sales." Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said the retailer incentives should come out of the lottery's existing administrative overhead, which takes 3.1 percent of lottery proceeds. Stegner said the bill doesn't address the merits of having a state lottery. "The fact is that the citizens of the state of Idaho have pretty consistently told us that they want this opportunity," he said. "This program does generate $34 million annually, half of it going to the permanent building fund, half of it going to schools." The bill, SB 1059a, passed on a 19-14 vote and now moves to the House.




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Boise
Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.








Close

Sections


Profile

Close

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801