Codey, Beck Ask Corzine To Convene Blue Ribbon Commission On Horse Racing Industry

TRENTON � Senate President Richard J. Codey and Senator Jennifer Beck today sent a letter to Governor Jon Corzine urging him to convene a panel of experts and interested parties to discuss the long term stability and funding of the horse racing industry in New Jersey.

�The recently signed purse supplement was a short term solution for an industry with longer term issues,� said Codey (D-Essex). �We feel it is imperative that the Governor impanel this commission as soon as possible so we can have a thoughtful and deliberative process with input from all interested parties to ensure the viability of the horse racing industry in New Jersey. If we don’t move quickly, we’ll be left in the starting gate while other states race to the prize.�

The establishment of a commission was part of the recently signed Purse Enhancement Agreement between the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the Casino Association of New Jersey.

The letter sent by Codey and Beck reads, in part: �In the recently signed agreement between the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the Casino Association of New Jersey, there is a provision in paragraph H which states in part �the Governor has announced his intention to sign an Executive Order establishing a commission or similar body consisting of various stakeholders to study alternatives and formulate written recommendations for the long term stability and funding of the horse racing industry��.We are writing today to urge you to impanel this Blue Ribbon Commission as soon as possible.�

�The horse racing industry in New Jersey is vital to our economy and a major source of open space preservation. It is imperative that we find a long term solution to keep the industry viable and competitive with neighboring states. I believe that the creation of this commission is an excellent first step to doing that, and I join Senator Codey in asking the Governor to establish a commission as soon as possible,� said Sen. Beck (R-Monmouth, Mercer).

See copy of full letter below:

November 18, 2008

The Honorable Jon Corzine

Office of the Governor

PO Box 001

Trenton, NJ 08625

Dear Governor Corzine:

In the recently signed agreement between the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the Casino Association of New Jersey, there is a provision in paragraph H which states in part �the Governor has announced his intention to sign an Executive Order establishing a commission or similar body consisting of various stakeholders to study alternatives and formulate written recommendations for the long term stability and funding of the horse racing industry�.�.

We are writing today to urge you to impanel this Blue Ribbon Commission as soon as possible.

As you know, the horse racing and breeding industries are vital to the economy of New Jersey. The farms that house these operations are also a major source of open space preservation throughout the state. Finding a long term solution which will keep these industries vital and competitive is important, and we believe the establishment of the above referenced commission is an excellent start to finding that long term solution.

In addition, New York State is proceeding with plans to add slot machines at Aqueduct Race Track and Belmont Park racetrack. New Jersey must consider the actions of their competition in the horseracing industry as we move forward. It is imperative that we begin the process of establishing this commission without delay.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.

Respectfully,

Richard J. Codey Jennifer Beck

Senate President Senator, 12th District

CC: The Honorable Jerold L. Zaro, Office of Economic Growth

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