Lawmakers urge major Missouri Lottery delays amid impending Scheve-Reardon exit

Missouri Lottery
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The Missouri Lottery has been told to postpone any major decisions within the organisation until a new Executive Director has been hired, according to the St.Louis Post-Dispatch.

The local news outlet claims it has obtained a letter dated July 8, in which four Missouri lawmakers – who oversee the state budgeting process – say they want to use the transition period after May Scheve-Reardon’s departure to review the lottery’s operations.

“Since the search for a new Executive Director is ongoing, it is the request of our offices that no immediate action be taken at the lottery until a new Executive Director has been hired,” the letter said.

The correspondence continued: “After the previous legislative hearings regarding the Missouri Lottery’s operating budget and the advertising and promotions budget, we need to fully understand the day-to-day operations and future strategies at the lottery before any new or final decisions are made in regards to any lottery business.”

Smith, who serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee, added: “We want to be involved in the transition. We’d like to know what decisions are being made now. We want to be partners.”

“The general idea is that we would like to keep tabs on things as they transition to a new director.”

The letter sent to outgoing lottery chief May Scheve-Reardon was signed by Sens. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, and Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, and Reps. Cody Smith, R-Carthage, and Dirk Deaton, R-Noel.

The four lawmakers led the charge to eliminate the lottery’s advertising and promotion budget.

Scheve-Reardon announced in June that she would be leaving her position as Executive Director of the lottery in July, citing the crippling effects of the Missouri Legislature’s attempts to slash the agency’s budget.

“We’re a nearly $2bn business that has received numerous excellent audits from the state auditor,” Scheve-Reardon said on Tuesday.

“I would say there are a lot of other, bigger pending issues that these four leaders of the General Assembly could focus on while we continue to succeed at running a great business that has 5,000 retail partners.”

Scheve-Reardon has expressed concerns that a combination of the budget cuts and the spread of illegal slot machines in gas stations and bars has begun to chip away at lottery revenues.