Lottery winners would be able to pay for secrecy under Senate bill

Nothing’s worse than winning a $100 million lottery and having a bunch of business sharps or a third-cousin you never liked in the first place knocking on your door to hit you up for a piece of your new mountain of money, right?

Sen. Joshua McKoon, R-Columbus, has just the solution.020514 leg ethics

Under legislation approved by the Senate Higher Education Committee this week, all it would cost you is $25 million of that $100 million.

McKoon filed similar legislation in 2013 but it never passed his chamber.

Currently the lottery is subject to the Open Records Act and has to release information on the winners.

McKoon’s bill allows lottery winners to buy secrecy if they give 25 percent of their winnings back to the Georgia Lottery to pay for HOPE scholarships.

Pay up and “the (lottery) corporation shall keep all information regarding the winner confidential.”

McKoon originally wanted the lottery to guarantee secrecy as long as the winner donated money to the lottery’s education fund or any non-profit. The Senate committee wanted to make sure it went to HOPE scholarships.

McKoon is certainly not the first lawmaker pushing to exempt individuals or organizations or transactions from the Open Records Act. The General Assembly exempted itself from the law, and it considers new exemptions pretty much every year. Business interest sometimes pay  lobbyists to push for exemptions.

However, if Senate Bill 179 passes, it might be the first time the General Assembly allowed somebody to pay directly for an exemption.





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