Attorneys for the Florida Lottery and House Speaker Richard Corcoran have confirmed a tentative end to their fight over a multi-million dollar agency contract, saying in a Tuesday court filing they’re officially on a “pathway to resolution.”
The sides filed a status report in the case, now with the 1st District Court of Appeal, asking that the lawsuit stay open but continue in a holding pattern till April 1, after the end of the 2018 Legislative Session.
That’s because the “resolution of this matter will turn on the results of the appropriation process,” the report said. The 60-day Session is scheduled to end March 9.
Last month, the Lottery agreed to tweak a multi-year deal—for new equipment and other items—to require legislative oversight and approval.
The Lottery, which reports to Gov. Rick Scott, already 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 had 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. Lottery proceeds go into the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, which helps pay for public education.
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 agreed with Corcoran and invalidated the deal in March. The Lottery appealed. Both sides asked the appellate court to put a hold on the case as they worked on a resolution.