Day At The Track

SBOANJ issues statement on NJ Budget

07:46 AM 30 Sep 2020 NZDT
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Phil Murphy, harness racing
Phil Murphy, governor of New Jersey

MANALAPAN, NJ -- September 29, 2020 -- The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) applauds the New Jersey Legislature for passing the Fiscal Year 2021 budget which includes a $15 million appropriation to help support the New Jersey horse racing industry, particularly as we recover from the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, the Legislature passed critical legislation which annually appropriates $20 million in purse money for five years. The tourism and racing industry, along with the rest of the state, was forced to close and reduce operations due to the pandemic beginning in March. Fortunately, with the help of the Legislature and the Governor's support in the FY21 budget, the industry will be able to more immediately and effectively recover.

"We are grateful for the commitment to horseracing demonstrated by elected leaders at the highest levels of State Government to provide this vital appropriation in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget," said Mark Ford, President of the SBOANJ. "We want to thank Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Speaker Coughlin and Budget Committee Chairs, Assemblywoman Pintor Marin and Senator Sarlo, for acknowledging the importance of the purse appropriation. SBOANJ is thankful for their leadership on this issue. Beyond making NJ a competitive state with surrounding states' purse appropriations, the money this year will be especially impactful for the state's economic recovery."

The industry and horse farms not only aid and protect the preservation of open space in New Jersey, they support an entire agribusiness of hay producers, straw producers, grain producers, trainers, grooms, veterinarians, equine dentists, and blacksmiths. If the horse racing industry fails, these support businesses stop production and contribution to the New Jersey economy as well. This budget shows the state's commitment to the thousands of workers employed throughout the industry.

SBOANJ remains committed to working alongside the Legislature and the Murphy administration to encourage the preservation and growth of the horse racing industry and its prestigious rank among American pastimes.

by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ


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