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N.J. Assembly approves measures to slow Gov.'s plan to privatize lottery

New Jersey LotteryNew Jersey Lottery: N.J. Assembly approves measures to slow Gov.'s plan to privatize lottery
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TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Assembly Monday passed a measure that would force Gov. Chris Christie to seek the Legislature's approval for his plan to privatize parts of the state lottery, which Democratic lawmakers said is being pushed through "under the radar" without oversight.

The bill (A3614), approved 45-29, largely along party lines, would give the Legislature the power to reject or accept the 15-year, $120 million contract the Christie administration is reviewing. Current law does not require Christie to seek approval from lawmakers.

The Assembly also moved a resolution (AR130) by a vote of 45-30 that encourages the governor to ask the U.S. Department of Justice for guidance before the contract is awarded.

Spokesmen for the governor did respond to an e-mail seeking comment, but the bill is unlikely to become law given Christie has the final say. An identical measure is pending in the Senate.

Republicans called the legislation a political tactic.

"I trust the administration," said Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R-Monmouth), a member of the Assembly Budget Committee. "And they feel that having outside help ... from folks who are experts is a good idea. That sounds like a reasonable contention to me."

Democrats say the governor has only himself to blame for the threat to his power — they asked to hear from Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff on the proposed contract, but he never came to testify.

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), chair of the Budget Committee, said he twice asked the treasurer and lottery officials to appear before the panel but received no response. He said the governor's plan has been "flying under the radar" and that lawmakers "don't know much about it."

"If this was a good thing, I figure it this way: I would have heard some type of press conference or some type of press release (saying) that this was a great thing," said Prieto, the prime sponsor of the Assembly bill. "You always get that from the administration. You're not getting that now."

Under Christie's plan to privatize the lottery, which brings in about $1 billion a year to fund scholarships and programs for military veterans and the disabled, the state would continue to own the lottery, Treasury officials have said.

A private vendor would manage sales and marketing in exchange for a share of revenues, the Treasury said. If the arrangement fails to boost sales for two years, Christie could cancel the contact.

The state only received one bid proposal, from a joint venture called Northstar New Jersey. Its members are GTECH, an Italian-owned company; Scientific Games, based in Georgia; and OMERS, a Canadian pension fund for public workers.

The treasury said it is still evaluating the bid, but the governor could simply sign the contract if he chooses to do so. Nothing currently requires him to hold public negotiations, explain the deal to the Legislature or take public input.

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4 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by haymaker.
Page 1 of 1

United States
Member #116272
September 7, 2011
20244 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 29, 2013, 9:53 am - IP Logged

Now there's an idea. Make a law that stops politicians from making decisions.

    rdgrnr's avatar - walt
    -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
    Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
    United States
    Member #73904
    April 28, 2009
    14903 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 29, 2013, 3:27 pm - IP Logged

    OK, where's the union's cut of the action?

    I can't believe the unions don't have to be paid off somehow or guaranteed jobs or something.

      OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
      Gurnee, Illinois
      United States
      Member #49731
      February 12, 2007
      837 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 30, 2013, 12:49 am - IP Logged

      OK, where's the union's cut of the action?

      I can't believe the unions don't have to be paid off somehow or guaranteed jobs or something.

      I Agree!

      Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

      The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

        haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
        egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
        United States
        Member #112972
        June 29, 2011
        3094 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 30, 2013, 4:29 pm - IP Logged

        It ain't broke,so don't fix it.

        Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.