Jefferson horsemen were planning petition drive over proposed funding cuts

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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