CONCORD — A bill to prohibit the Lottery Commission from disclosing the names or sweepstakes winners was vetoed by Gov. Maggie Hassan Friday.
House Bill 1244’s veto was the first of the session for Hassan.The bill would have prevented the Lottery Commission from disclosing the name of any prize winner unless he or she authorized the release. Bill supporters touted the right to privacy as the reason for introducing the bill.
“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,” Hassan wrote in her veto message.
Current law does not require the commission to reveal the names of winners, but generally commission officials do release the names although personal identity can be protected by creating a trust to accept the money.
Hassan said if the commission is prohibited from releasing the winners’ identities then accountability and oversight are diminished and the possibility for corruption enhanced.
“In New Hampshire, we value personal privacy, as well as integrity and trust in our public institutions, and both are critical to our democracy,” Hassan wrote. “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.”
The House came one vote from killing the bill in March before passing it 172-130. The bill passed the Senate on a voice vote.
Both the House and Senate would need a two-thirds majority to override Hassan’s veto.
Neither the House nor the Senate has set a time to act on vetoes if there are others.