N.J. treasurer claims lottery could raise $37 billion to cover pensions

 The gold-plated dome of the New Jersey Capitol building. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

The gold-plated dome of the New Jersey Capitol building. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

The Christie administration is providing more details about a plan to turn over New Jersey’s lottery to the public employee retirement system.

State Treasurer Ford Scudder said a steady stream of revenue from the lottery would generate about $37 billion in pension funding over the next 30 years and reduce the general fund obligation to the system.

“Not only do we improve the solvency of the pension system and thus secure the retirement of state employees and retirees, but we also improve the future prospects of every priority in the state budget and reduce the state’s costs of borrowing in the process.”

Scudder said the plan anticipates at least a one percent annual growth in lottery revenue.

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“We’re consistently working towards bringing on new games that do target the younger generation. We’re confident that the projections we’ve put forth are very conservative”.

The proposal needs the legislature’s approval. Senate President Steve Sweeney said it could be a promising endeavor. Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto questions whether it’s an effective plan or a gimmick, but said he’ll review it and give it proper consideration.

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