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Weinberg Welcomes Action By Nj Congressmen On Lottery Privatization

While Assemblywoman Linda Stender, D-Union, looks on, Senator Loretta Weinberg, B-Bergen, speaks at a news conference at the Statehouse urging Governor Christie to act on her legislation to restore funding for family planning and women’s health services which was cut in the FY 2011 Budget.

TRENTON � Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, the sponsor of legislation that would require legislative approval before the Christie Administration could privatize the State Lottery and a Senate resolution urging the administration to seek legal input from the U.S. Department of Justice before moving ahead with the contract, issued the following statement on Wednesday welcoming the action by six members of the New Jersey congressional delegation calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct a review of the deal:

�In addition to the serious questions about the wisdom of privatizing the New Jersey Lottery there are legal questions as well. Past legal opinions by the U.S. Justice Department cast more doubts about the administrations rush to privatization. If there are legal problems with this deal, they could come back to cost the state in ways that could hurt the lottery directly and have a negative impact on the important services it supports. The administration should have sought this legal input before moving ahead in such a stubborn way.

�I welcome the action by the members of the New Jersey congressional delegation. They recognize the same potential problems with the privatization plan that we have. The administration should put the contract on hold and wait for a legal opinion from the Justice Department.

�Privatization is a costly risk and possibly a legal risk for New Jersey. The New Jersey Lottery is one of the most successful and profitable lotteries in the country, generating close to one billion dollars a year for public schools, senior citizens and state institutions. Lottery sales are also important to small businesses throughout the state. We don�t want them to lose out while a private company profits.�