News Release: Representative Clay Ford Advances Legislation Tightening Lottery Rulemaking Authority

Apr 1, 2010

This news release was issued by Representative Clay Ford’s office on April 1, 2010.

TALLAHASSEE, FL –Representative Clay Ford’s (R-Gulf Breeze) bill to make the Department of the Lottery more efficient passed the Economic Development and Community Affairs Policy Council today. House Bill (HB) 1537, relating to Administrative Procedures of the Department of the Lottery, revises and tightens the rulemaking authority provided to the Department of the Lottery by the Florida Legislature 20 years ago.

HB 1537 restricts the Department of the Lottery’s rulemaking authority. In the last five years, the department has adopted 404 emergency rules. Some of these emergency rules relate to retailer contracts, a code of ethics for certain individuals and employees, procurement of commodities and contractual services, and facility leases. This bill, however, would continue to allow the department’s emergency rulemaking procedures for the specific purpose of implementing instant-ticket games.

“The Department of the Lottery has had emergency rulemaking authority for the last 20 years not afforded to other departments or agencies. This bill brings parity to this situation by requiring that the Department of Lottery abide by the same rulemaking as other agencies,” said Representative Ford.

An example of undesirable practices was a case in which the department negotiated a lease extension for 10 years at a cost of $2.6 million annually. That lease includes 30,000 sq. ft. of unused space at a cost of almost $500,000. That type of lease would now be prohibited. The bill removes the department’s authority to perform any of the functions of the Department of Management Services.

HB 1537 will now go to the House floor for action.