Richard Corcoran comes out on top in Lottery dispute – Florida Politics

Richard Corcoran comes out on top in Lottery dispute

After House Speaker Richard Corcoran successfully sued the Florida Lottery, the agency has agreed to tweak its multi-year deal for new equipment and other items to require legislative oversight and approval.

It seems Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican and possible candidate for governor, got exactly what he wanted: Control.

“For avoidance of doubt: The State of Florida’s performance and obligation to pay under this contract is contingent upon an annual appropriation by the Legislature,” the new agreement says. A request for comment is pending with Corcoran’s spokesman.

The Lottery, which reports to Gov. Rick Scott, on Friday released redacted documents detailing changes in what was originally a contract worth $700 million over an initial 10-year period, with three available 3-year renewal options.

Among others, the changes include reducing the number of “full-service vending machines” and requiring the  vendor, International Game Technology (IGT), to “support the Lottery’s marketing efforts” by kicking back $30,000 a month. 

Corcoran sued in February, saying the Lottery was guilty of “wasteful and improper spending” and “signing a contract that spends beyond existing budget limitations.”

The contract was for new retailer terminals, in-store signage, self-service lottery vending machines, self-service ticket checkers and an upgraded communications network.

Corcoran’s lawsuit said the Lottery “cannot enter into a contract that obligates the agency to pay more in subsequent fiscal years than its current budget authority allows….”

Tallahassee-based Circuit Judge Karen Gievers invalidated the deal in March, and the Lottery appealed. The sides asked the appellate court to put a hold on the case while they tried to work on a resolution. 

Last month, lawyers filed a status report with the 1st District Court, which telegraphed the “memorandum of agreement.”

It said they had “reached an understanding” but the “resolution may involve some final budget action by the Legislature and Governor for the next fiscal year.”

Lottery proceeds go into the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, which helps pay for public education.

The documents, provided to Florida Politics after a public records request to the Lottery, are below:

Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.
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