Elizabeth Brassell

Pennsylvania is facing a $2 billion budget deficit, so state revenue officials are hoping coffers stay strong until the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

March revenues, however, were lower than expected, according to Department of Revenue Spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell. In March, the state collected $4.3 billion in General Fund revenue, 0.2 percent less than anticipated.

“So that brings us, fiscal year to date, collections of about $21.7 billion; $368 million or 1.7 percent above estimate,” said Brassell.

Despite bringing in $99 million dollars more in sales than last year, the PA Lottery is seeking to lower the percentage of revenue it is legally required to give to programs for seniors.

For the third year in a row, the lottery has given more than one billion dollars to programs that help the elderly with transportation, prescription costs and even tax rebates. This year, $3.8 billion dollars in sales revenue were generated, with $1.8 billion going towards seniors, the largest dollar amount in PA Lottery history.

Gov. Tom Corbett didn’t talk about gambling in his budget address Tuesday, but his proposed budget includes $20 million in new revenue from the expansion of the Pennsylvania Lottery into Keno games.

Elizabeth Brassell, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Lottery and Department of Revenue, said the introduction of Keno could be achieved through regulatory, rather than legislative means.