CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Horsemen at the Charles Town Racetrack were apparently threatening to start a petition drive to get rid of some gambling options at the Hollywood Casino if the legislature had passed a bill to dip into their funding.

State Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, received a letter Tuesday from the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association that said because of Snyder’s amendment to the proposed funding bill that would have kept cuts at 10 percent to the horse and greyhound funds the association would drop its petition plans.

(Read letter here)

“In consideration of passage of your amendment,” HBPA President Raymond Funkhouser wrote Sen. Snyder Tuesday. “The Charles Town HBPA pledges as a group to not circulate petitions in Jefferson County for referendum recall on gaming issues as it pertains to this particular amendment.”

Sen. Snyder spoke for several minutes on his amendment in the last half hour of the regular session Saturday night essentially killing the bill.

Lawmakers didn’t approve HB4333 which would have fundamentally changed how some Excess Lottery proceeds are allocated. The Senate Finance Committee passed the plan that would have removed language from state code that mandates how that money is to be distributed and instead would leave the legislature in charge of annual allocation amounts to groups like horsemen and greyhound breeders.


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  • John

    Cut the funding for senior citizens, which to many, is the only help that they receive for meals and other help, and give it to the horse people! Which is more important? Common sense should dictate this answer. Politics is ruining this great country.
    This smells like horse manure to me.

  • David

    I am going to call my representatives in Jefferson county and demand they elimate this taxpayer funded boondoggle completely not just 10%.
    Lawrence? Snyder? Are you listening?

  • rick

    Now this is one thing we should drop the funding for...give it back to the seniors or the Poison Control Center.

  • David

    So a handful of horse breeders can get millions in subsidies but the 1000' s of people who commute to the beltway everyday via Marc train can't even get a 100k to defray the cost of running the train into WV so people can use mass transit like the government wants.
    I never have understood why people keep voting this man into office.
    I don't know why the state subsidized and industry as cruel as horse racing anyway.
    That's a lot of tax going for the benefit of a few people.
    Kind of like Earl Ray and his wife's million dollar greyhounds.
    And the state has no money to fix roads or meet basic obligations...
    I wonder why?

    I live in Jefferson county and I say cut them even more.

  • Woodchuck0

    Is this representing the people of WV or a special interest group?

    Wow, is this how the politicians run the state?

    Jim Justice didn't even have to send a letter.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      The answers are:

      1) a special interest group with $$$$$;
      2) yes;
      and finally:
      3) Gem has the juice as a "job creator".

      Wait....I believe I smell defenders of these political and economic shenanigans approaching.