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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 10:57am

Lawmaker Wants Legislature to Control GA Lottery Corp.

The Georgia Lottery Corporation has come under fire for its year end performance bonuses to lottery employees.

Now, one top lawmaker wants the Georgia legislature to have a say in how the lottery is run and how the money is divvied up.

State Senate Majority Whip Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) has filed a bill ahead of the 2010 legislative session which calls for a new 16 member lottery oversight committee.

The committee would monitor lottery compensation packages including performance bonuses.

This comes after news reports that the Georgia Lottery Corporation handed out nearly $3 million dollars in performance bonuses for 2009, including $204,000 dollars to lottery CEO Margaret DeFrancisco.

In a statement Senator Seabaugh says he is “disappointed by the actions of the lottery officials, because the lottery is not a private corporation.”

“The people need the ability to hold the Lottery Corporation accountable,” says Seabaugh.

Lottery officials say bonuses are common practice in private companies as they try to keep the best performers from jumping ship.

The Georgia legislature created the lottery in 1992 to fund the HOPE scholarship program and pre-kindergarten for four-year-olds.

However, the Georgia Lottery Corporation receives no state funding, operates like a business, with a president who reports to a board appointed by the governor and its employees are not considered state employees.

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