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Press Release

For Immediate Release
June 13, 2014

Contact:
Communications Office
(603)271-2121

Governor Hassan’s Veto Message Regarding HB 1244

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan released the following message after vetoing HB 1244 today:

“By the authority vested in me, pursuant to part II, Article 44 of the New Hampshire Constitution, on June 13, 2014, I vetoed House Bill 1244, relative to the disclosure of the names of lottery winners.

“In New Hampshire, we have a long history and tradition of open and transparent financial stewardship of our publicly funded, government-administered operations and funds.  Since 1964, the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Lottery has served our state and local communities well by providing players with a well-regulated and secure recreational gaming experience while providing more than $1 billion in revenues to public education. The Lottery owes much of its success to a reputation built on public confidence and trust, and that reputation has been well preserved by the Commission’s current executive director and his staff.

“HB 1244 seeks to prohibit the Lottery Commission from publicly disclosing the names of lottery winners in all instances, asserting a personal right of privacy as the primary justification.

“While this consideration is a well-intentioned one, transparency in the administration and operation of our New Hampshire Lottery games and sweepstakes, and the Lottery Commission that oversees it, is paramount to ensuring continued trust and confidence in our Lottery and all of our public institutions.

“Current law recognizes the privacy interest of those individuals who have had the good fortune of winning the New Hampshire Lottery by not requiring the Commission to disclose the names of winners proactively. However, if the names of lottery winners are entirely precluded from the light of public disclosure then accountability and oversight is ultimately diminished and the opportunity for potential corruption is born.

“In New Hampshire, we value personal privacy, as well as integrity and trust in our public institutions, and both are critical to our democracy. Balancing these interests is something we strive to do on an ongoing basis and something that the current system for disclosure at the Lottery Commission does well. House Bill 1244 would change that balance to the detriment of the public's confidence in the Commission's integrity and transparency, and therefore I have vetoed HB 1244.”