CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice will be in Wheeling Saturday to make a “major announcement” about the future of the greyhound racing industry, the governor’s office confirmed Thursday.
The legislature finished work on the bill (SB 437) last Saturday that eliminates the $15 million in annual funding for the greyhound breeders fund, essentially killing the industry. The bill was sent to Justice’s desk on Tuesday. He’s yet to take action on it.
Justice has previously said during a town hall meeting on MetroNews “Talkline” that he supported the industry but wouldn’t let it stand in the way of a budget deal.
“The dogs as well as people should stand on their own business–they should stand on their own. But at the same time remember, our dogs and our horses brought our casinos and not our casinos brought the dogs and the horses,” Justice said.
Industry supporters have said eliminating industry will cost the state more than it saves including 1,700 jobs.
The $15 million is part of the budget fix the House and Senate have adopted to fill a projected $500 million revenue hole in next fiscal year’s budget.