NYTHA President: Budget bill has positive impact on racing

Posted: April 8, 2017

New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Rick Violette Jr. April 8 credited lawmakers with passing state budget legislation that includes the reprivatization plan for the New York Racing Association.

The budget was agreed to by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Senate, and Assembly. The NYRA provisions scale back strong state controls proposed by Cuomo and also gives the New York THA and New York Thoroughbred Breeders, which have seats on the NYRA board of directors, voting rights.

“The budget bill includes provisions that will have a positive and lasting effect on New York’s Thoroughbred industry,” Violette said. “We applaud the governor for his support on these issues, and we appreciate the hard work of our legislators, especially Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Sens. John Bonacic and Kathleen Marchione, and Assembly members J. Gary Pretlow and Carrie Woerner.

“New York racing is second to none, and reprivatization will allow NYRA to move forward and optimize what is an invaluable asset to our state. The flexibility provided to the Jockey Injury Compensation Fund will open the door to lower costs, making New York a more attractive place to do business and creating an atmosphere of growth for the thousands of Thoroughbred owners and trainers and the tens of thousands of workers they employ.

“As the state’s second largest agribusiness, horses are responsible for $4.2 billion in economic impact, 1.3 million acres of green space and 33,000 full-time jobs. We thank the governor and our representatives for the confidence and commitment they have shown in embracing initiatives so important to our industry.”

(New York Capitol photo courtesy of University of Albany)