Horse Racetrack shut-down looms across Texas. Jordan Rudner, John Thornton's Texas Tribune.
The board voted 4-4 to maintain guidelines for historical racing, at least until the February meeting. Victoria North, who attended the meeting as Comptroller Glenn Hegar's representative on the Commission, abstained.
The vote itself, although potentially a death-knell to the on-life-support-anyway industry, is not why the Commission members are idiots. Neither is the fact that they disagree on whether or not this type of gaming approval is Constitutional or not. In fact, reasonable people should be able to disagree whether or not gambling is a good enterprise for the State to allow. While the voters have already approved horse and dog racing, it's less than a clear issue as to whether or not historical racing terminals are consistent with this mandate.
By voting to keep alive the authorization for the terminals the Commission is, in effect, bowing to the wishes of those it regulates, at the risk of putting them out of business permanently. The Track's reasoning here is that it's better to be euthanized quickly than to die a slow, painful death. And it appears that the Texas Legislature, powered mainly by the personal policy preferences of the Lt. Governor appear ready to do this. This is concerning and should worry you regardless of your party preference. Texas was not meant to operate in such a manner where the whims of a demagogue can shut down a 36K person industry and the Legislative Budget Board was not designed to be a political cudgel with which the Lt. Guv beats his enemies about the head.
This is where we are however, and this is what it's come to. I fully expect Texas to lose it's racing industry, for even more jobs and money to leave the State and for (unfortunately) hundreds of horses, suddenly un-affordable, to be humanely destroyed.
In the meantime, the idiots on the Commission have this to offer: (from the linked story at the top)
Commissioner Gloria Hicks, from Corpus Christi, said the emotional testimonies resonated with her — as did allegations that legislators had bullied the industry.
“We did what we thought would help the people in the racing industry in our state, and it is an industry worth saving,” Hicks said. “I feel like I have been bullied.”
‘I have an elementary school named after me, and we have bullying sessions,” Hicks added. “I know what it is like.”Oh Good Lord. Just shut it down now, shut the commission down, and let's allow State's who know what they are doing run operations. Delta Downs anyone?
Cross Posted to: Your Drink Order Please