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Karcher, Panter Concerned About Racetrack Closings

Legislators Say They Will Continue to Fight for Swift Resolution to Budget Crisis

TRENTON – State Senator Ellen Karcher and Assemblyman Mike Panter, D-Monmouth and Mercer, issued the following joint statement today concerning the pending closure of the Monmouth Park and Freehold Raceway racetracks due to the lack of a balanced budget for the State for FY 2007. Monmouth Park in Oceanport, and Freehold Raceway are important economic generators for the economy of the 12th Legislative district, represented by Karcher and Panter in Trenton:

“While the stalemate over the FY 2007 Budget continues at the Statehouse, we are both concerned about the economic impact on the communities we represent, as well as the rest of the State of New Jersey.

“In particular, a significant loss in revenue to the State’s racing industry, caused by an extended government shutdown as we negotiate the details of the Budget, could be devastating to Monmouth Park and Freehold Raceway.

“As much of the attention focuses on the pending casino shutdown tomorrow, we want everyone to remember that, while casinos have all year to pull in a profit, the racing industry operates on an abbreviated time-table, and we are cutting into their season.

“Also, we want to make sure that the racing industry is on stable footing going into some high-profile races. In particular, the Breeder’s Cup, which is coming to Monmouth Park next October, will bring in significant revenue to the local economy, but only if the racetrack can sustain a profitable economy until then.

“New Jersey’s 12th District is home to two of the State’s premier race tracks, and we pledge to be in Trenton every day until we can reach a budget resolution that will restore State services and benefit the people of New Jersey. The effects of government shutdown are painful on everyone, but we will work to resolve the crisis, and put government back to work for the people of the Garden State.”