Powerball, Mega Millions to Drop Illinois Amid State Budget Crisis: Report - NECN
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Powerball, Mega Millions to Drop Illinois Amid State Budget Crisis: Report

The association, which runs Mega Millions and Powerball, said in internal Illinois Lottery communications it would drop the games

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    On Thursday it was announced that Illinois would no longer sell tickets for Mega Millions or Powerball after June 30, and lawmakers reacted to the news, which is related to the continuing inability of lawmakers to pass a budget in the state. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern has more. (Published Thursday, June 15, 2017)

    The Multi-State Lottery Association has decided to drop Illinois at the end of the month if there is no state budget agreement.

    The association, which runs Mega Millions and Powerball, said in internal Illinois Lottery communications it would drop the games in the current financial state climate.

    "It is disappoining that the legislature’s inability to pass a budget has lead to this development," Illinois' acting Lottery Director Gregory Smith said. "This is why it’s so critical the general assembly deliver a balanced budget.”

    That budget has eluded lawmakers for more than two years, and although Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has called a special session of the legislature to come to a budget deal, it's impossible to know whether a compromise can be reached. 

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    For some lawmakers, a government shutdown, a possible result of a continued budget stalemate, is something they simply cannot stomach.

    “I’ve seen what a government shutdown looks like, it’s time we get a budget that fully funds human resources, education and invest in our future," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.  

    Lawmakers will be paid mileage and a daily stipend each day they are in special session costing taxpayers approximately 40 thousand dollars a day.

    Some in Springfield feel that after the Mega Millions and Powerball announcement, perhaps it will be the lost revenue form lottery sales that will finally get the divided lawmakers to agree.

    “I enjoy playing the lottery, if that’s the reason that makes them push to get things going great," Chicago resident Shannon Carlson said. "At this point I don’t know what it’s going to take.”

    The Multi-State Lottery Association's could affect $99.4 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales, both reported in the 2016 budget year, according to the Sun-Times. 

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    "Republicans in the General Assembly have laid out a compromise budget plan that I can sign,” Governor Rauner said in a video announcing the special session, noting, "It is a true compromise – and one I hope the majority in the General Assembly will accept.”