Stopgap Compromise Allows Illinois Lottery to Keep Paying Winners

The stopgap budget compromise signed Thursday gives the Illinois Lottery the legal authority to continue paying winners.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a stopgap budget compromise Thursday that gives the Illinois Lottery the legal authority to continue paying winners.

“Governor Rauner and the General Assembly are ensuring that the Illinois Lottery can continue its mission of supporting K-12 education, capital projects and select charitable causes throughout Illinois,” Illinois Lottery Acting Director Tim McDevitt said in a statement.

Profits from the lottery are deposited into the state’s Common School Fund, which supports the state’s K-12 education, or the state’s Capital Projects Fund, which finances road work.

According to the Illinois lottery, 6.5 percent of the state’s K-12 education is funded by lottery revenue. That accounts for roughly $670 million annually.

In December of last year, Rauner signed legislation that gave the Illinois lottery the legal authority to pay winners in absence of a budget. That authority expired Thursday, but because the stopgap was approved, all valid claims will continue to be honored.

The temporary budget compromise signed by Rauner Thursday will ensure that schools open this fall and state services will continue through the end of the year.

Rauner called the plan "an attempt at good faith compromise to set up the possibility for a grand bargain” and claimed the state was at its lowest point Thursday.

"I believe, and I firmly hope, that right now we've hit the bottom," Rauner said. "This is the low point in the evolution of Illinois and now we begin to move up. Growth, value for taxpayers, better schools and a political system that is responsive and actually making good decisions for the long-term health of the state."

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