A Democratic candidate for governor believes the solution to the state’s pension crisis isn’t the pension reform law, it’s casinos. Tio Hardiman believes opening up to five casinos owned by the state would fully fund the public pensions within a decade, rather than in 30 years under the recently passed law. Hardiman claims expanded gambling is the cure to most of the state’s financial woes.
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“All the revenue would go right into the pension fund. The revenue would also right into the education fund, and also the revenues would go to reducing the deficit,” Hardiman said.
The potential profits, however, appear to fall short of funding the pension system. According to Hardiman’s own plan, the state’s 10 privately-owned casinos – twice as many as Hardiman is proposing – brought in $1.6 billion in 2012. The state’s current unfunded pension liability is estimated to be $100 billion.