Gov. Maura Healey said Friday that she supports the concept of letting the Massachusetts Lottery offer its products online, a policy shift that could end up on her desk as part of the state budget.
Asked about online lottery during a Boston Public Radio interview, Healey said it’s time for Massachusetts to catch up with other states that make that option available.
“We have casinos here in the state,” she said. “We also have DraftKings here in the state, and a lot of money is being spent there by a lot of people, and what we also have is a lottery system that right now isn’t able to compete against DraftKings. And nothing against DraftKings, but the [state] lottery, that’s money coming back to cities and towns.”
The state uses revenue from sales of traditional paper lottery tickets to help fund its local aid to municipalities.
State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, who oversees the lottery, has for years been seeking the Legislature’s permission for online games and ticket sales, but the idea hasn’t caught enough traction on Beacon Hill to become law, despite last year’s legalization of online sports betting.
The state House of Representatives is preparing for debate later this month on a $56 billion budget plan for next year that would allow online lottery, and use the proceeds from those sales to pay for stabilization grants for child care providers.
The House on Thursday voted 150-3 to pass a $1 billion tax break package, built around a proposal Healey put forward last month. Both Healey’s bill and the House’s would create a new, $600-per-dependent credit for people taking care of children, adults with disabilities and seniors. But while Healey wants to offer the full credit all at once, the House wants to phase it in over three years.
Healey didn’t directly say how she feels about that change.
"I didn't expect to see exactly everything the same way that I had proposed, but I think that's what this process and this time is for,” she said.
The governor touched on a range of other topics during the hourlong interview.
On Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
Healey commented on recent ProPublica reporting that found Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did not disclose a real estate deal with or luxury vacations alongside a Republican megadonor, Harlan Crow.
“He should go,” Healey said of Thomas.
“You’re there, you’re supposed to administering the law, right? Making people play by the rules and follow the law from the highest court of the land. And it seems, time after time, violating the most basic rules and norms and ethical obligations, or at least ethical obligations that would naturally extend to the rest of us in public office,” she said. “It’s embarrassing.”
On the Mass. guardsman arrested in a leak probe
She said the state is “in dialogue with the FBI” around the arrest of Jack Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guard member arrested Thursday in connection with a leak of classified military documents involving national security matters.
“It’s incredibly disturbing what was revealed,” Healey said. “This is a man from Dighton who was on federal orders, conducting a federal mission. He was extensively vetted by all accounts, as all service members are who are cleared for this level of work.”
She said Massachusetts will provide any support it can to the FBI as the federal authorities pursue the case.
On her first 100 days
Healey marks her 100th day in office on Saturday, a milestone for a new governor. It’s been a “fast and furious” first 99 days, she said, with progress “on a lot of fronts.”
She said she’s put together “a really stellar cabinet” and “a really good tax relief package, as well as a budget that I think meets the moment in terms of the investments that we need to make.”
As for her accomplishments so far, Healey pointed to securing funding to offset the loss of expanded pandemic-era SNAP benefits from the federal government, and to pay for another year of free school meals across the state.