The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 17, 2013

State in brief: Corbett touts Lottery deal

Associated Press

HERSHEY — The state budget plan Gov. Tom Corbett will present to lawmakers next month will call for an additional $50 million to improve programs for senior citizens, the governor said Thursday.

Corbett said the money will come from an increase in Pennsylvania Lottery revenue that he expects to result from a British company’s takeover of lottery management – a move the Republican governor said is designed to help state programs and services keep up with a growing elderly population.

Corbett’s administration has finalized a 20-year contract with British lottery operator Camelot Global Services to manage the state-owned lottery.

The attorney general’s office received the paperwork Wednesday and has 30 days to review its form and legality.

Still, Camelot now has the right to begin its work, including observing lottery practices, administration officials say. The move makes Pennsylvania just the third state – behind Illinois and Indiana – to privatize its lottery management.

Other legal challenges are pending.

NCAA: No plans to spend PSU fine money

HARRISBURG – The NCAA said Thursday it has no immediate plans to spend the $12 million already paid to it as part of the sanctions against Penn State over its handling of child sex abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The fate of that money – and the rest of the $60 million Penn State owes the NCAA – is the subject of two legal challenges, one from a state lawmaker and the other from Pennsylvania’s governor.

Also Thursday, Penn State trustees reviewed the way the university’s top lawyer interacts with the school’s governing body, including the types of legal issues to which trustees must be alerted – both issues central to board operations in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.

The role of the general counsel and the office’s interactions with the trustees has been under intense scrutiny amid the massive fallout from the scandal involving the retired assistant football coach and is even part of the legal defense being mounted by two former high-ranking officials facing criminal charges.

A trustees committee overseeing legal matters approved new guidelines for the general counsel that the full board is slated to vote on today.

College faculty union: Contract talks stalled

HARRISBURG – The union representing faculty at Pennsylvania’s 14 public universities says contract talks have stalled again.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties said a bargaining session Wednesday yielded no progress on issues including health care and online education.

The union said the State System of Higher Education is expected to offer a new comprehensive proposal before negotiations on Feb. 1.

Union members have been working without a contract since June 2011. They have authorized their leadership to call a strike.

System officials say they’re committed to a fair contract but must rein in spiraling costs.

The union is urging members to express their frustration at the system’s Board of Governors meeting on Jan. 24.

The universities, including IUP, serve about 115,000 students.

The spring semester starts Jan. 28.

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