NJ Pension Lottery – Don’t Bet On It

Per njspotlight:

Christie promised in the budget address that he would “look forward to sitting with all stakeholders right away to discuss the specifics of implementing this plan.” But it appears he’s yet to actually do so.

Asked last week for an update on the governor’s pension-funding proposal, Treasury spokesman Willem Rijksen pointed back to the remarks the governor made in his budget address. Rijksen was also asked by NJ Spotlight if there was a document or policy memo available to fully explain Christie’s proposal, but nothing was provided.

Still, Rijksen held up the lottery idea when asked about the latest Moody’s downgrade, which runs the Christie administration’s total number of downgrades to 11, counting those announced in recent years by other rating agencies like S&P Global and Fitch Ratings. Rijsken also suggested Christie wants to see lawmakers take action on the lottery issue before the current fiscal year closes at the end of June.

“The governor has long said bold action is necessary now,” Rijksen said. “He looks forward to the cooperation of the Legislature in passing legislation to allow for the lottery transfer prior to the close of fiscal 2017.”

There was only one reason for the spending of 30 seconds fleshing out this idea in the budget address:

Not unlike the pension system, Christie is also bankrupt – of ideas.
Enrolled Actuaries meeting this week in Washington DC including speculation on Trump’s plan for the various pensions crises that might come to his attention. Daily recaps next three days.

12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by truesally on April 3, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Another downgrade make 11 …well their is a first time for everything ..Obam’s acomplishments not withstanding..S&P downgrades U.S. credit rating for first time .https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sandp-considering-first-downgrade-of-us-credit-rating/2011/08/05/gIQAqKeIxI_story.html?utm_term=.0b0a68e90b97


  2. Posted by Anonymous on April 3, 2017 at 7:47 am

    NY on March 26, 2017 at 11:52 pm
    John — i see what you mean about all the candidates evading the issue. I think an interesting post would be what you suggest a candidate should say and do — kind of a Jersey version of Bulworth: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulworth



  3. Posted by skip3house on April 3, 2017 at 8:37 am

    We will soon need to face the prospect of higher NJ income taxes on that so-called concentrated wealth (some of discretionary, most on the excess reported on) as our mid-low classes have no spare dimes.
    Equal funding by student will make the NJ Court/Abbott decision waste moot…..we can hope.so that this money can be used, along with no longer needed property tax rebates…as residential property taxes must be eliminated.


  4. Posted by skip3house on April 3, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Sorry, confused with another NJSpotlight blog. Like the Bulworth reference.


  5. Posted by George on April 3, 2017 at 11:03 am

    The results of a brief web search:


    Ballot Q3: “the entire net proceeds of any such lottery shall be used for state institutions, state aid for education, be adopted?”

    Is the pension scheme a state institution? Does that stuff about education between the commas mean anything important? Will there be a discussion of the Oxford vs the Trenton comma? Was there additional enabling legislation? As a minor note, will people stop playing the NJ lottery if the education gimmick is like no longer like you know like true?

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the New Jersey Lottery is to raise revenue for maximum contribution to education and institutions benefiting the citizens of New Jersey through the responsible sale of Lottery products. We accomplish this by providing entertaining products through a dynamic public business enterprise built upon honesty, integrity, customer satisfaction, teamwork, and public/private partnerships. (will they be able to say this if the lottery ends up in the pension scheme?)

    1969 November – Voters Approve Lottery

    New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved the establishment of a State Lottery as part of the general election. The 81.5 percent majority in favor of a Lottery was one of the largest in New Jersey political history


    List of who got a chunk of the $987,000,000 Lottery dough, but will not if the money goes to pensions.


  6. Posted by boscoe on April 3, 2017 at 2:01 pm


    State of NJ already pays employer share of TPAF contributions. In the budget, this is considered state aid for education, since the local school districts would have to pay it if the state didn’t. So using lottery proceeds for TPAF payments is legal. However you are correct, it still leaves a $1 billion hole in the budget because all of the current recipients of lottery proceeds would have to be funded out of other revenues.


    • Posted by George on April 3, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      Nitpickers might claim that paying current salaries is one thing, but giving money to persons not currently employed by educational institutions is not permitted even if those people were once employed by the educational institution.

      Nitpickers also claim ‘pension debt’ is not like bonds, as ‘pension debt’ was not voted on as a ballot initiative, if I get the argument right.


      • Posted by Anonymous on April 3, 2017 at 8:27 pm

        According to JB pension debt is, as you put it, like bonds at the Local government level?


        • Posted by George on April 4, 2017 at 6:58 am

          Looking at the list of recipients some do not appear to be eductional. Psychiatric, disabled and veterans are on the list.



          • Posted by boscoe on April 4, 2017 at 12:55 pm


            Two eligible uses for lottery proceeds: state aid for education, and state institutions. They are mutually exclusive. State institutions need not be educational; they can be state hospitals, veterans’ homes, etc.

          • Posted by skip3house on April 4, 2017 at 2:57 pm

            Hope we are learning here these ‘ballot questions’ need every darn detail spelled out, with clear examples, not generalized as since 1990s..

  7. Posted by George on April 4, 2017 at 6:54 am

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