Rep. Russell Webber on voting for SB 120: 'I was able to hear from real folks'
Rep. Russell Webber (R-Shepherdsville), whose district is south of Louisville, explains to the Kentucky House of Representatives why he voted for SB 120 to protect Historical Horse Racing at the state's racetracks: "I have been hearing from constituents in my district, folks who work for the horse farms, who work in the horse industry. I was able to hear from real folks who would be impacted by this, the loss of jobs."
Rep. Al Gentry on why he's supporting HHR (in committee and before Ky House)
Rep. Al Gentry (D-Louisville) both in the House's Licensing & Occupation committee and before the full House explained his vote for SB 120 to protect Historical Horse Racing: 'I proudly vote yes for the thousands of workers across this great state that are the backbone of the horse-racing and equine industry. I proudly vote yes because of personal freedom and choice and accountability.... I proudly voted yes, for more than any other reason, for the legislative process that this bill went through... It was emotional, there were debates, there was a lot of swaying of their colleagues. But at the end of the day, the people were allowed to speak.'
Kelli Pendleton: Christian Co. (KY) Chamber of Commerce CEO on why HHR is vital
Kelli Pendleton, president and CEO of the Christian County Chamber of Commerce, testified before the Kentucky Senate's Licensing and Occupations committee on SB 120 on Feb. 4, detailing how important Historical Horse Racing is to the area. In addition to the harness track that last fall ran its second meet in Oak Grove, the HHR area and a hotel being completed, plans are in the works for equestrian and entertainment venues. "This is no longer a want, it's a reality thanks to the investment by Churchill Downs Inc.,' Pendleton said. "This investment has completely changed the landscape of Oak Grove, Ky." The Chamber CEO said the current 400 jobs, with more to come, provide employment for many veterans and military spouses in the area because of nearby Fort Campbell.
Rep. Jonathan Dixon, whose district includes Ellis Park, on voting to protect HHR
Rep. Jonathan Dixon (R-Corydon), whose district includes Ellis Park, told the Kentucky House of Representatives why he voted yes for SB 120, the bill that clarified language to protect Historical Horse Racing: ''This was the No. 1 issue I've heard in my district.' For my people this was about jobs, about jobs for the state."
Rep. Ken Fleming on supporting HHR bill: Job loss and cost to families, 'that, I cannot face'
Kentucky Rep. Ken Fleming (R-Louisville), is executive director of Louisville's Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center. In explaining why he supports protecting Historical Horse Racing, and its importance to live racing in the state, he said in part, "If we vote no to this, I"m going to see an increase in clients coming to my agency.... It's going to be detrimental... I've had probably 200 comments (on SB 120), and five or so people have said, 'We don't want this.' The vast majority of people want to have this, because 80 to 90 of these emails came from families that they will lose their jobs. That, I cannot face."
Sen. Paul Hornback on SB 120: 'Huge impact on all of Kentucky - directly and indirectly'
Senator Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville) says why he voted YES for SB 120 to protect Historical Horse Racing at the commonwealth's racetracks: "This is not just about what it does with historical racing, those, I think, 1,600 people who work there. It's about all the equine industry. But for me -- and I'm from agriculture -- there are a lot of jobs out there that are (also) involved in agriculture. The grain that is fed to the animals. The hay, the straw... This is a huge impact on all of Kentucky - directly and indirectly."
Trainer Tom Drury: 50 horses, 30 employees, checks to 19 different vendors
Tommy Drury, whose entire 30-year training career has been based year-round in Kentucky, testified before the Kentucky House of Representatives' Licensing & Occupations committee the impact Historical Horse Racing has had on the racing industry. 'I want to say that again: 50 horses and 30 employees. So far this month I've written checks to 19 different vendors to keep my business going. That's everything from bookkeeping to insurance to straw to grain, many other things.... In one month, 296 different trainers raced horses at TP. Those trainers have the same employees, outside vendors.... It's not just owners, trainers and jockeys. It's a lot of other people who rely on this industry to support their families.' Produced from @KET - Kentucky Educational Television video.
Rep. Matt Koch on supporting SB 120: "I'm getting one consistent text ... 'What about our family?'"
In his second term as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, horse farmer Matt Koch has become a powerful voice for the industry. This video shows Rep. Koch's floor remarks, with some other comments at the end. He said in part: "This bill is simply a definition of parimutuel wagering - we're not asking for anything new..... HHH has been a shot in the arm for this industry.... We were left behind. It wasn't just a trickle, we were experiencing a flood of the horses and the jobs..... That 102 percent growth in the purses (the past decade), that's helping the little guys. That year-round circuit, that's helping the guys like my family who have been in (the industry) for generations. While Kentucky IS the BEST place to raise a horse, it's not the ONLY place to raise a horse. And we have to fight to keep it here.... I cannot imagine a more dangerous time to cripple our industry. I cannot imagine sitting here today and voting to put Kentucky families on unemployment.... What would anyone in this body do - and how hard would we fight - to bring an industry into this state that was bringing in several thousand jobs? I think we all know the answer."
Rep. John Blanton on SB 120: 'It's about supporting jobs'
Listen to why KY State Representative John Blanton (R-Salyersville) supported SB 120 to protect Historical Horse Racing in the Commonwealth, including that it protects a massive industry that provides jobs even among his constituents in the far reaches of eastern Kentucky. "We did not start something new. It's been going on for 10 years. So I did not expand gambling.... We clarified language, as the Supreme Court asked.... What we've seen here the last 10 years in Kentucky, I hear about the damage, but I've seen no statistics of the damage that these particular things we're talking about have brought. Not one.... I called the members of my own church. One I knew worked in the horse-racing industry.... I said I want to know some truth ... tell me what's going to happen (if HHR isn't protected). He said, 'Well, thousands of people are going to lose their job. Some are good-paying jobs, some maybe not. But people are making a living'.... For me, it's about supporting the jobs of my members and doing what I believe is right at this given time."