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In The Press


Christie betting that lottery can bail out troubled pensions

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.”

Since Christie took office in 2010, the state has contributed more than $6 billion to retirement funds to which past governors have often skimped on payments — or skipped them entirely. Still, the gap between the money expected to be in the funds and that which is owed to retirees has only grown. By any measure, it’s among the biggest unfunded pension liabilities in the country.

Tim Holler