Assembly lawmaker critical over the lack of bids in state lottery privatization plan

TRENTON – An assemblyman and outspoken critic of the governor’s plan to privatize the state lottery says a lack of bids has renewed his concerns over the proposal.

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, (D-32), issued a statement Friday expressing renewed concern over the Gov. Chris Christie administration’s plans to privatize the New Jersey Lottery. Prieto has been an outspoken critic of the proposal and has even introduced legislation that would require any bid to privatize the lottery to be first subject to the Legislature’s approval.

“Privatization should be reserved for when the government cannot perform that function well on its own. In the case of our award-winning lottery system, we have one of the most efficient operations in the world,” he said.

“For a plan that was troubling from the start, the fact that only one bid was submitted in response to a request for proposals only increases my concern,” Prieto said. “This casts further doubt on whether this is a smart move.  How do we know we are getting the best deal if we have nothing to compare it to?”

The chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee also criticized the Treasury Department for declining to appear at a committee hearing on the issue. The treasury told lawmakers they could not speak publically about the matter since the request for proposal process was under way.

“Well that process has since concluded and the results are troubling.  More details are now warranted,” he said.

Assembly lawmaker critical over the lack of bids in state lottery privatization plan