Sep 29, 2007, 5:49 pm
If the Michigan government shuts down because legislators are unable to agree on a new state budget, the Michigan Lottery will suspend operations at the end of the business day on Sunday.
All lottery ticket sales, validations and prize payments will be suspended. Drawings will be held for tickets sold prior to the shutdown. Players with advanced wagers will be able to check their numbers in newspapers and on the Lottery Post Web site, www.lotterypost.com/results/mi.
Players with winning tickets should sign them immediately and place them in safe locations. Winning tickets will be validated once Lottery operations resume and retailers will be able to resume selling tickets at that time.
In case of a shutdown, no licenses will be issued or charity game tickets shipped from the Lottery warehouse. Charitable gaming events already licensed my be conducted as scheduled.
Michigan Governor: 'No deal unless you give me higher taxes.'
Lawmakers were trying Saturday to strike deals on tax increases and measures aimed at lowering health insurance costs for some public employees in an effort to avoid a partial government shutdown.
Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm has told about 35,000 of the state's more than 53,000 workers not to report to work on Monday if a shutdown occurs. The remaining workers, mostly related to public health and safety, would stay on the job.
A partial state shutdown would mean most government operations would cease, including liquor deliveries, lottery ticket sales, the issuance of driver's licenses and construction on state roads.
Lawmakers are tasked with erasing a $1.75 billion deficit in the fiscal year that begins Monday. Republicans have pushed Granholm to accept a temporary budget that would extend the one currently in place, giving legislators more time to craft a long term deal.
Granholm has said she won't sign a temporary budget unless she has assurances higher taxes to pay for education, public health and other programs are part of the deal.
Leaders in both the Democrat-led House and Republican-controlled Senate are optimistic a deal will be reached to avoid a shutdown. The Legislature could vote on final proposals later this weekend.
Detroit casinos may benefit from lottery shutdown
Detroit's three casinos can stay open even if state government partially shuts down next week, a judge ruled Friday.
Wayne County Circuit Judge William Giovan's decision reversed a ruling by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The board said Thursday it would have to suspend the operations of the casinos if state government partially shuts down Monday.
"Putting pressure on the Legislature is not an excuse for torturing our statutes into something that they're not, and that's what happened here," Giovan said Friday. "Putting pressure on the Legislature is not a reason to cause the devastation, and I'm going to call it that, that would have occurred in terms of tax revenues and jobs for people."
State attorneys representing the gaming board were weighing an emergency appeal late Friday, said Matt Frendewey, spokesman for Attorney General Mike Cox. But time was dwindling before the weekend and it appeared likely the casinos would stay open Monday.
"It's a victory for the 7,000 workers at the three Detroit casinos who will not be furloughed," Greektown Casino spokesman Roger Martin said. "It's a victory for public schools in Michigan and public safety programs in the city of Detroit that will continue to benefit from $1 million a day the three casinos pay to them."
Giovan issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction blocking the gaming board from suspending operations at the casinos.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm has said casinos would be among the casualties of a partial state shutdown because state employees who monitor and regulate the casinos would be among those temporarily laid off.
Michigan law requires that state regulators be on-site daily to monitor operations at the MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown and MotorCity casinos.
Richard Kalm, executive director of the Gaming Control Board, said that without state regulators in place, the integrity of each casino would be at risk when it came to payoffs, security and patrons' safety.
But casino lawyers said their casinos had enough surveillance and security in place that they could operate without state regulators on-site.
State services affected by a shut down
Here's how state operations in a typical town might be affected by the impending state government shut down:
COMMUNITY HEALTH: Limited Medicaid support will be available to approve emergency medical prior-authorizations and review exception requests for medications and medical procedures.
CORRECTIONS: Probation and parole employees at correction centers, as of Friday afternoon, still were expecting to report to work Monday.
EDUCATION: Public schools will not be affected unless the government remains shut down in mid-October, thus jeopardizing an Oct. 22 state-aid payment.
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: No permits — air quality, surface water discharge, wetlands, dredging and others — will be processed, and no environmental complaints will be received or investigated.
HUMAN SERVICES: Critical Department of Human Services' operations will be maintained with a small percentage of field staff to respond to emergencies.
LABOR & ECONOMIC GROWTH: Most of the unemployment insurance agencies will be closed; however, unemployment checks will continue to be processed, and new applications can be made over the phone or via the Internet.
LOTTERY & GAMING: Lottery sales will end at the close of business Sunday. Players will not be able to purchase or redeem winning tickets. Minimal staff will maintain drawings because of advance ticket sales.
MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS: The Youth Challenge Program will remain operational but with minimum staff. Feeding and education will be provided by Public Schools. The state's 44 National Guard armories, six National Guard training sites and National Guard administrative offices are federally funded and will remain open.
NATURAL RESOURCES: Shutdown will require that all state recreation areas, including Fort Custer Recreation Area, parks, DNR visitor centers and state forest campgrounds be closed, including day use areas. People with camping reservations at a state park or recreation area during the duration of the shutdown will be eligible for a refund.
SECRETARY OF STATE: Branch offices will be closed during the shutdown. Online or mail transactions will not be processed.
STATE POLICE: Though all Michigan State Police posts will be closed to the public, 222 uniformed troopers, 15 sergeants, three lieutenants and 27 dispatchers will provide critical law enforcement services statewide after a 90 percent reduction in MSP staff. Other state police services will be suspended.
TRANSPORTATION: All road construction, routine maintenance and administrative operations will stop, and the state's rest areas will be closed.
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