Plans for lottery
would benefit N.J.
Regarding the Dec. 4 editorial, "New Jersey Lottery/No to privatization":
New Jersey is not selling or "privatizing" its lottery, nor has the issuance of the request for proposals been done "quietly" as the editorial stated. On the contrary, the request received wide media coverage in numerous newspapers across the state. Furthermore, this initiative is the result of a process that began after more than 18 months of study and two previous public bidding opportunities that also drew media attention.
The lottery is seeking a sales and marketing partner that can work with management to protect and boost its contribution to state revenues, which now totals more than $950 million a year. Lottery management will remain in place along with a majority of lottery employees, who will continue to conduct the daily drawings, validate and pay all prizes, collect all revenues, license retailers and perform all the security functions to ensure that the integrity of the lottery is maintained. In addition, the Lottery Commission will continue to fulfill its current role with all of its duties and authority intact.
The sole goal of our effort is to find a business partner who can help the lottery keep up with the latest technology and marketing innovations so ticket sales will continue to grow, benefiting taxpayers, retailers and the many beneficiaries of lottery funds. In Illinois, which engaged a business partner in 2011, lottery revenues grew 18 percent in the first year.
Any company that takes us up on our offer will not see a dime in profit unless it can increase revenue meaningfully above current levels. That's a powerful incentive for any business partner to increase ticket sales substantially, and that alone should lead The Press to reconsider its opposition to this plan.
New Jersey Lottery
Data show cameras
make intersections safer
Opponents of red-light safety cameras are not taking into consideration the bigger picture.
Important statistics that any traffic-safety expert would see as positive progress aren't getting the attention they deserve. The bottom line is citations are down, the often fatal right-angle "T-bone" crashes have decreased, and these trends continue to rise at intersections where red-light safety cameras have been operational for two years.
Camera programs are implemented with the sole purpose of positively changing driver behavior to make intersections and roadways a safer place for residents to walk, cycle and drive. Adjustments to bad driving habits don't happen overnight. These changes come as drivers adapt to the presence of safety cameras, as proven in successful programs across the country. This is also apparent in New Jersey when comparing intersections where cameras have been in operation for two years to those that have only had cameras for one year.
The number of citations issued to red-light safety camera violators decreased by 50 percent after the first year of operation. At intersections where cameras have operated for two years, citations dropped by 85 percent. Right-angle crashes went down by 15 percent at intersections with camera programs operational for one year and 86 percent at intersections with programs in place for two years. Lastly, total crashes are down 57 percent at intersections where cameras have been effectively changing driver behavior for two years.
Safety cameras are helping New Jersey drivers learn to be more conscious while approaching an intersection and instilling the importance of always stopping on red.
National Coalition for Safer Roads
We need the money
lost to tax loopholes
Every year, America loses up to $150 billion to offshore tax havens - enough revenue to provide Pell Grants to 10 million students for four years of college, to more than cover the Sandy reconstruction effort, even to build a manned outpost on the moon.
A large part of this revenue is lost due to corporate tax loopholes. These loopholes allow many of America's largest companies to stash money earned in the U.S. in overseas tax havens to avoid paying taxes.
The revenue lost to offshore tax havens is sorely needed here at home. We can all agree that there are better ways to spend $150 billion - ways that would serve the public, not just a few corporate special interests. Although closing these tax loopholes alone won't end our country's fiscal woes, it sure would help.
It's time for the public to stop picking up the tab left by corporate tax dodgers. These big companies benefit from our educated work force, infrastructure and security, yet get away scot-free. New Jerseyans should not have to make up for this lost revenue through cuts to public services, more debt or higher taxes. Closing tax loopholes should be a key part of any "fiscal cliff" conversation.
N.J. Public Interest