TRENTON – Recently sworn-in Senator Bob Gordon, D-Bergen, issued the following statement regarding Governor Corzine’s 2008 State of the State Address yesterday:
“During the campaign, I had the opportunity to review the 2006 Union Bank of Switzerland report, detailing the best prospects for monetization and privatization among New Jersey’s public assets. While Governor Corzine today touted toll road monetization as the key to our State’s fiscal salvation, the UBS report ranked the New Jersey lottery as the best prospect for monetization.
“While I understand that the lottery would not produce the sort of financial windfall that toll road monetization might, it still presents very significant economic benefits, with far less public backlash. Estimates from monetizing California’s lottery point out nearly $30 billion in revenue from such a deal.
“The Governor asked that critics of his toll-road plan show him alternatives. I believe we should look at some of the other, smaller-ticket items in the UBS report, such as monetizing the lottery, or selling development rights around railroad stations, and see if we can’t raise the same sort of revenue, without committing New Jersey’s drivers to years of future toll hikes.
“Before we begin down the path towards toll road monetization, I believe it’s our duty to future generations of New Jerseyans to exhaust all other possibilities to pay down debt and begin stabilizing the State’s financial picture. We cannot, in good conscience commit to years of toll increases without exhaustive scrutiny of all our options.”