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Press Of Atlantic City

Christie plan to give lottery to pension fund just a distraction

The pension fund would get the same $1 billion from the lottery or state budget. But for accounting purposes, the money counts more if it is being produced by an asset of the pension fund. So – presto chango! – the state’s unfunded liability would drop by $13.5 billion, says the Treasury Department.

This would only matter if it prompted debt-rating agencies to upgrade New Jersey (after years of downgrades) and reduce its borrowing costs. The bond analysis firm Municipal Market Analytics told Observer New Jersey that is unlikely. Sen. Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth, sensibly prefers to hear from Moody’s or S&P before voting on the lottery plan.

Tim Holler