State could be in Mega mess

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals But Nick Roxborough, the Woodland Hills attorney who represents Californians Against Gambling Expansion, said the lottery is “out of control” and “believes it is answerable to no one.” “It’s time Californians and their representatives reassert their control and put an end to the bureaucratic haughtiness which has been an insult to our democratic process,” he said. Mega Millions – which, like other lottery games in California, gives one-third of its revenues to public education – was launched with the permission of the Lottery Commission, whose members are appointed by the governor. CAGE filed suit, claiming the commission violated the Lottery Act, approved by voters as Proposition 37 in 1984, by not going to the Legislature or voters themselves for permission to join a multistate lottery. Amid the controversy, Sen. Dean Florez, D-Bakersfield, whose committee oversees the lottery, appealed unsuccessfully for a delay in Mega Millions participation. His bill to authorize the game but bar joining an international lottery was blocked by Schwarzenegger. Meanwhile, two key engineers of importing the game have disappeared from the lottery. Former Acting Lottery Director Chon Gutierrez, who said proceeding with the game under a legal cloud was a calculated “gamble,” retired abruptly. Schwarzenegger’s former special adviser to the lottery, Kim Smith, who admitted to impersonating a news reporter to gain lawsuit information, has been shifted to a tiny, obscure job-training panel. Policy-setting lottery commissioners who approved Mega Millions were grilled by legislators when seeking confirmation of their appointments by Schwarzenegger. The commissioners were confirmed after saying they were following what they believed to be sound advice. The state Attorney General’s Office informally advised the lottery to proceed, but a subsequent formal opinion by the Legislative Counsel’s Office concluded that joining the game was illegal. Legal experts are divided over all the ramifications to states and players if Mega Millions was shut down in California, since there is no precedent for such a move. Steve Geissinger, (916) 447-9302 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Mega Millions, the multistate lotto game California joined in June, could shut down in this state Dec. 2 if the Schwarzenegger administration loses its legal gamble. The state-run lottery is fighting a bid by an anti-gambling group and Democratic legislators to halt Mega Millions, arguing that the lottery measure approved by California voters permits a game only within the state boundaries. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who backed joining Mega Millions to ease the state deficit, says he isn’t worried about the court challenge. And acting Lottery Director Melissa Meith said the agency “is not relinquishing any operational control.” last_img read more