By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Representatives of the horse racing industry went to the state capitol last week to air their concerns about Governor Corbett’s proposal to tap into the state’s Horse Race Development Fund to help balance the state budget.
The Horse Race Development Fund was created by the law authorizing slot machines and is financed by gaming revenues. Horse race industry figures like Carl McIntee of Northview Farms, who says he came to Lancaster County as a direct result of the gaming law, say the proposal to redirect $72-million from the fund is reneging on a commitment to the industry.
“When you make a commitment and investors come and invest in your state, it’s a matter of state credibility, and I think we need to uphold that commitment.”
Bucks County House Republican Gene DiGirolamo, whose district includes Parx, says the fund has led to many improvements there. “The barns have been improved, there have been an enormous amount of jobs that have been created. And I think it’s really great when you talk about these horses coming into Pennsylvania – I mean, these horses will go to other states.”
Samantha Krepps, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture, says, “The money is going to programs that are very, very important to agriculture and in the end does help the equine industry.”
Programs targeted for the redirected funds include Penn State agriculture and Penn’s School of veterinary medicine.