On June 30, Governor Tom Corbett approved the Pennsylvania State budget without diverting the earlier proposed $72 million from the Race Horse Development Fund, instead taking $5 million only to allocate to PA Fairs and the PA State Farm Products Show Funds.
“The horsemen of the Commonwealth appreciate the state legislators who proved their understanding of the contribution of racing and breeding to the economy of Pennsylvania and supported the funding that was provided to us through Act 71,” said PTHA President Sal DeBunda.
Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, was adopted in 2004, and in part, allows a percentage of slot machine revenue generated in PA casinos to be used to enhance the Commonwealth’s live horse racing and breeding programs. The growth of Pennsylvania’s racing industry following the passage of Act 71 has not only created greater opportunities for horse owners and breeders, but has enhanced the state’s agricultural economy as a whole.
“The resulting budget is definitely a reflection of how hard the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and other industry leaders lobbied through personal discussion and our production of a video to demonstrate the economic impact of our industry,” said Executive Director Michael Ballezzi. “While we still need to continue the education process, the key to sealing our future is through supporting our legislators when it comes to election time, through the ballot box, and through our PA-THA PAC.“