WALTHAM - House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi will investigate what he says is a $120 million shortfall in projected Lottery revenues.
House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi will investigate what he says is a $120 million shortfall in projected Lottery revenues.
“I will ask personally and publicly Treasurer Cahill to explain to us what is going on with the lottery. Why are we losing $120 million a year,” said DiMasi, who voiced concerns that the underperformance would become an annual trend. “That’s $120 million we’ve already spent … that the lottery can’t pay us.”
According to Lottery spokesman Dan Rosenfeld, the Lottery’s fiscal ‘07 revenue was $4.5 billion, $920 million of which was allocated in last year’s budget for local aid. Municipalities actually received $892 million.
Rosenfeld declined to comment on the remarks DiMasi made at an Associated Industries of Massachusetts event in Waltham Friday.
“The Massachusetts State Lottery continues to perform exceptionally well despite challenges in the marketplace during fiscal 2007. So far this fiscal year, the Massachusetts State Lottery has seen a 4 percent increase in revenues,” read a statement the Lottery released Friday afternoon.
Dave Guarino, the speaker’s press secretary, said the Legislature budgets local aid based on the revenue projection that the Lottery and the governor’s administration come up with at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Lottery revenue is distributed according to a state formula to cities and towns, cultural programs and the Council on Compulsive Gambling, among other funds.
MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News staff writer Lindsey Parietti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.