The reference is to the employees of the Georgia Lottery, a number of whom have been making big salaries plus large bonuses for many years, who now have learned they are falling into the same slowly sinking salary ship as so many other public employees. Oh well, at least they’ve still got jobs. The 750 former employees of Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital in Rome don’t and a lot of others with state, county, city, school occupations are continuing to deal with pay-reducing furloughs.
It appears that the small band of lottery guiding hands are facing a 12 percent budget cut for payroll because the Lottery Corp. has had a $47 million drop in ticket sales causing a $37 million slash to HOPE scholarships and pre-K funding.
Not only does this mean annual reductions in the $20,000-$30,000 range for the top executives but also that there will be no bonuses. CEO Margaret DeFrancisco got a $204,034 bonus in 2009, $143,276 in fiscal 2010.
State lotteries are a very competitive field in headhunting for talent, and Georgia’s highly successful gamesmanship has some of the best that it could lose because of this. However, the employees’ situation is hopeless because they are now barred from participating. If they’re being put in the same boat as so many of us, at least they should be permitted to have the same paddle.