The state would privatize the Ohio Lottery and the Ohio Turnpike and use the money to fund a college scholarship program under a bill introduced last week by Sen. Kevin Coughlin.
The measure would allow the state to sell or lease the lottery and turnpike and use the proceeds to finance $7,000 scholarships to the state’s top high-school graduates.
Gov. Mitch Daniels has pushed for the state to privatize the lottery to fund a scholarship program since 2007, but put the proposal on hold last year when the U.S. Justice Department issued an opinion saying that long-term leases of state lotteries would violate federal law.
In the past, Daniels has suggested a private company would pay at least $1 billion in up-front cash as well as $200 million a year in payments — the amount that the lottery currently generates in annual profits.
Coughlin — like Daniels, a Republican — has said that voters would need to approve a constitutional amendment in order to allow private operation of the lottery.