Lottery-related bill’s veto draws Prieto’s criticism

TRENTON – A bill that would have required legislative approval before Lottery operations could be turned over to private concerns has been vetoed, an Assembly sponsor said.

Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto criticized today’s veto of A3614.

“This veto that puts Gov. Christie squarely against public transparency and oversight was, sadly, not surprising,” Prieto said in a release.

“After all, the administration has already said it plans to push forward and award a 15-year lottery privatization contract to the one and only bid it received without public debate.

“Still, it’s disappointing to see Gov. Christie stand so firmly against public discourse and the checks-and-balances that are the hallmark of our democracy.”

A private consortium, NorthStar, will receive a 15-year contract to operate the Lottery, but the union representing some of the Lottery employes, the Communications Workers of America, is fighting the deal, arguing that its inclusion of a $120 million up-front payment, among other things, violates the law.

A hearing was held last week in which CWA and NorthStar argued their positions, and after a decision is rendered, the battle may move into the courts.

Lottery-related bill’s veto draws Prieto’s criticism