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Idaho Governor VETOES historic-racing-repeal bill

April 6, 2015     E-mail this page to a friend!

Idaho Governor Butch Otter vetoed the Senate Bill 1011 today, the bill that would repeal their own 2013 bill that allowed historic racing terminals at racetracks in the state.

Within hours, the Idaho State Senate was back at it, trying to override the Governor's veto. While Senate members had voted 25-9 in favor of repeal back in February, far surpassing the required two-thirds majority needed to override, they were only able to muster a 19-16 vote after the veto.

"We're ecstatic that the Governor vetoed the repeal bill and a large portion of the Senate agreed with him and voted to sustain the veto," said Melissa Bernard, CEO of IdaRacing at Sandy Downs.

"This is not only a victory for the racing industry but also for the legitimate businesses who invested in Idaho based on current law," Bernard continued. "This veto has billions of dollars of economic impact and thousands of jobs depend on it."

Sandy Downs went into 2015 planning to increase race dates and double purses thanks to Idaho Historical Racing. The veto all but guarantees those plans will come to fruition.

In Boise, John Sheldon, President of Treasure Valley Racing (operators of Les Bois Park), issued a statement of gratitude for the veto. The statement read, in part, "The veto sends the right message to any organization interested in doing business in this state, and for all Idahoans who believe in due process. We thank the Governor for his support for the horse racing industry, economic growth and saving the more than 500 jobs at Les Bois Park alone."