Assembly panel to hold hearing on proposed lottery privatization

TRENTON – Assembly lawmakers say they want to hear firsthand from state officials about the administration’s plans to privatize the New Jersey State Lottery.

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, (D-32), chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, says his committee will meet Wednesday to take testimony and discuss plans by the administration over the proposed privatization of the lottery. The hearing, which was originally slated to be held the day Superstorm Sandy slammed into New Jersey’s coast, comes after the state put out for bids on proposal for a private company to take the reins of the lotto.

“I need to be explained to how this is going to benefit us,” Prieto said on Friday.

“We’re going to be looking at this to start the dialogue and see if this is the right thing to do for New Jersey,” he said. “We need to look long term.”

Despite conceding that there’s little at the moment that can be done by the Legislature to prevent the privatization of the lottery, Prieto says the hearing will give everyone an opportunity to dive further into the issue and debate its merits.

“We can always write legislation and also show [people] why it’s not a good thing if it’s not in the best interests of the state,” he said.

Lottery officials and the state Treasurer were invited to attend the hearing and give testimony, Prieto said.

The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 5 at 10 a.m.

Assembly panel to hold hearing on proposed lottery privatization