Check Lottery facts, but check some other things, too

State Rep. Rick Mirabito, a Williamsport Democrat representing much of our region, told a town hall meeting last week that the Corbett administration’s move to privatize the Lottery will wind up in the court system.

He says the deal was done without proper public discourse and that more public input is required to change a paint color on an historic house in the city.

There’s more. He has concerns that Camelot, the British company hired to oversee the Lottery, will use profits to fund Canadian teacher pensions and company bonuses. It’s parent company is the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund.

We suppose this is all worth looking into. And if anything illegal was done in the setup of the Lottery privatization, the deal should be nullified. For now, we will trust that the Lottery fund will be more efficiently run in the future, the state’s coffers will benefit and senior citizen programs that benefit from the Lottery funds will be the biggest winner.

Despite all the gnashing of teeth anytime someone tries to turn government work over to the private sector, the track record on these moves is pretty solid.

We wish these challenges were consistent.

For instance, why is there not a lot of fist-shaking about prevailing wage laws in Pennsylvania that drive up the cost of publicly-financed projects, costing taxpayers millions of dollars every day? Why aren’t there more aggressive efforts to change the pension system for new state employees to bring it closer to the private sector and prevent a future pension crisis after the present one, quite daunting, is solved?

Why is there not overwhelming support to privatize the liquor system, bringing more money to the state, more choice to consumers and lower prices? There only 48 states out of 50 operating this way.

We don’t want to believe there is a double-standard among many elected officials between the way they look at the public sector and the way they look at the private sector, but sometimes it’s hard not to think it.