New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is betting that the lottery is the ticket to shoring up one of the state’s most vexing money problems: ever-growing obligations to the pensions for public employees.
The idea of linking the lottery to pensions has been around for years, but legislation backed by the Republican governor was introduced this week to make the lottery the property of the pension system for 30 years.
Analysts and advocates say the deal — an arrangement that would be unique to New Jersey — probably won’t hurt, but there’s not a consensus on how much it might help.
“Where it does provide tremendous relief is optically,” said Lisa Washburn, managing director at Municipal Market Analytics, a firm that analyzes government bonds. “The numbers look better on a whole lot of levels. Whether or not they’re truly better is questionable.”