$$$$$ ~ Many states are suffering from lack of attendance, lack of income to racetracks, which then translates to less breeding and racing prospects, which then trickles down to every aspect of the racing life and culture. It is important to follow and support programs and legislation that will bolster race track revenues and support the sport. The following is ongoing Texas legislation efforts to add slots to Texas racetracks. This from Texas Horse @ http://texashorseweb.com/
May 12 Austin, Texas ~ Every year, several billion dollars leave our state. The operation of slots at racetracks in neighboring states provides tracks in those states with an insurmountable economic advantage over Texas tracks. The consequence of this economic disparity has been the exodus of horses, breeding farms and other horse professionals to other states, as they follow higher purses, leaving the Texas horse industry at an overwhelming disadvantage which threatens the very existence of a vital horse industry and agricultural enterprises in the state.
Legislative Update from Texas Arabian Breeders Association
As of today, we have achieved tremendous progress in educating the legislators about the significant agricultural impact of the Texas horse industry on the Texas economy. Bills which were unanimously supported by Texas H.O.R.S.E. and all licensed Texas racetracks were filed (HJR 111, HB 2111, SB 1118, SJR 33). Hearings on these bills were conducted before the Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures in the Texas House of Representatives, and HJR 111 was subsequently voted out of committee. YOU have made a HUGE impact with the telephone calls, letters written, and the tremendously successful and “eye opening to the legislators” Horseman’s Day at the Capitol. There is NO DOUBT in any Austin office that the membership of Texas HORSE organizations will respond to a call for action. WELL DONE.
You were asked to remind House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee members about HB 2111, and boy did you all come through!!! Although there were renewed efforts, that essential piece of enabling legislation did not get voted out of committee. In addition, HJR 111 was not filed with the proper paperwork from that Committee to be placed on the agenda for House floor debate. Legislation to help the Texas horse industry, as is the case with hundreds of other very worthy pieces of legislation, has run out of time to be heard. This was confirmed by the Committee Chairman in an interview with the Dallas Morning News yesterday. The House Calendar has closed for new bills, and the debates will be shortened on many of those already set. As of midnight, Monday April 9, 2011, the Texas HORSE effort in the 82nd session of the Texas House of Representatives is effectively over.
Some newspapers have reported an ongoing effort in the Senate. We will continue to monitor that progress, and aid where we can. We will ask you to assist when the time is right, and you will, as you always do whenever asked.
More importantly, we are focusing upon the very real possibility of a Special Session to be called this summer to solve the state budget. Texas HORSE will have our bills at the ready, with our signed agreements between all the Tracks, Greyhounds, Horsemen’s Organizations, and Breed Organizations. We will continue on the base that we have established with our friends, both old and newly made in the legislature, and attempt to place this issue before the voters of the State of Texas where it deserves to be. We are asking you now, during the waiting period, to continue to keep open the lines of communication you have established with your personal representatives and Senators. In the event that the call is issued for the Special Session, you will have fostered that relationship to the advantage of Texas HORSE.
THANK YOU for your ongoing support for the future of the Texas horse industry.