Lottery sales in New Jersey are down for the third year in a row since the lottery was privatized four years ago. The Record says the lottery's low numbers come as Gov. Chris Christie – who pushed for privatization of the lottery as a way to overcome the state's fiscal problems – goes back to the lottery to solve another fiscal problem. Now Christie wants to use the dwindling revenue from the privatized lottery to plug holes in the public-employee pension fund.
BIPARTISAN EFFORT TO FIX SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA
Senate President Steve Sweeney is teaming up with Republican Sen. Joe Pennacchio in a bipartisan effort to find a solution to the state's school funding problems. NJTV says they agree on several points, including more state funding for special education, abolishing caps on additional aid for districts with high enrollment, and reconfiguring adjustment aid.
CAN ‘ABUSE-DETERRENT OPIOIDS’ HELP STEM NJ’S DRUG EPIDEMIC?
Manufacturers are pushing abuse-deterrent opioids as a tool to combat drug use, but some physicians and scientists on the national level are questioning their effectiveness. NJ Spotlight says an advisory panel in New Jersey warned that requiring insurance coverage for the abuse-deterrent drugs could add as much as $200 million to the state's annual healthcare costs over the next ten years.
FORMER AC COUNCILMAN GETS PRISON TERM FOR INCOME TAX SCAM
Former Atlantic City Councilman John Schultz was sentenced to six months in prison and six months of house arrest for his role in an income-tax scam involving his Boardwalk rolling-chair business. Philly.com says the rolling-chair business deliberately kept two sets of accounting books and used them to hide profits.
GAS PRICES ON THE RISE
Gas prices in New Jersey have spiked for the third week in a row, and they are expected to continue to rise at least until July. NJTV says the three main reasons for the increases are demand, the switch from "winter blend" to "summer blend," and the time it takes for refineries to prepare the summer stock.
HOBOKEN TERMINAL PROJECT PROVIDES RESPITE FROM AMTRAK-NJT BICKERING
Significant progress has been made on the Hoboken Terminal Project, including on the pedestrian concourse. NJ Spotlight says the recent progress presents an opportunity for lawmakers to highlight the positive in the wake of the recent transportation disasters such as the two derailments and the stalled train inside a rail tunnel.