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LUCHENTO NAMED TO GOVERNOR'S COMMISSION ON HORSE RACING

TRENTON,NJ -- March 5, 2009 – Governor Jon S. Corzine today signed an Executive Order creating the Governor’s Commission on the Horse Racing Industry. The Commission is to identify, assess, and recommend possible funding solutions for horse racing meets after 2010 and propose long-term funding solutions that will promote the future sustained viability of the horse racing industry in New Jersey.

“The horse racing industry plays an important role in New Jersey, from preserving open space to attracting visitors to our State,” Governor Corzine said. “I have named representatives from the horse racing and casino industries to this commission because it is essential for the gaming industry to work together to find a long-term funding solution that will allow both racing and casino gaming to thrive in New Jersey.”

The Commission is composed of 15 members, who will serve without compensation. Governor Corzine named Robert Bildner as Chair of the Commission. The Governor also appointed Mayor Jordan Glatt; Thomas Luchento of the New Jersey Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association; Dennis A.Drazin, President of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemens Association; Mark Juliano of Trump Hotels and Casinos and David Satz of Harrahs.

In addition, Governor Corzine named five executives from State Government to the Commission: the Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, Dennis R. Robinson; the Executive Director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Thomas D. Carver; the State Treasurer, David Rousseau; the Chief of the Office of Economic Growth, Jerry L. Zaro; and the Executive Director of the Economic Development Authority, Caren S. Franzini.

The Executive Order provides that the President of the Senate shall appoint one member of the Senate and one public member to serve on the Commission and that the Speaker of the General Assembly shall appoint one member of the Assembly and one public member to serve on the commission.

The full text of the Executive Order is below:

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 133
WHEREAS, horse racing has been a part of the fabric of New Jersey sports entertainment since 1853; and
WHEREAS, the horse racing industry employs some 3,820 individuals, generates in excess of $31 million in taxes and fees annually, promotes approximately 176,000 acres of green space throughout the State and, as such, represents a critical economic element of the State; and
WHEREAS, New Jersey horse racing has experienced a reduction in revenues due to, among other factors, increased competition from surrounding states, causing a continued decline in the business operations of the New Jersey horse racing tracks; and
WHEREAS, since 2004, the New Jersey casino industry and the New Jersey horse racing industry have agreed to certain interim funding arrangements that have assisted the New Jersey horse racing tracks to remain competitive with tracks in neighboring jurisdictions; however, these stop-gap measures, which will expire in 2011, were not designed to address the long-term viability of the horse racing industry; and
WHEREAS, the New Jersey casino industry is a vital part of the State’s economy, which has also recently experienced reduced revenues due to, among other factors, increased competition and the current economic recession; and
WHEREAS, a long-term financial solution that appropriately balances the interests and priorities of the State and the casino and horse racing industries is required if horse racing is to thrive in the State of New Jersey;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
1. There is hereby created, pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, the Governor’s Commission on the Horse Racing Industry (the “Commission”). The mission of the Commission is to identify, assess, and recommend possible funding solutions for horse racing meets after 2010 and to propose long-term funding solutions that will promote the future sustained viability of the horse racing industry in New Jersey

2. The Commission shall be composed of 15 members. The following shall serve ex officio and may appoint a designee: the Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the Executive Director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the State Treasurer, the Chief of the Office of Economic Growth, and the Executive Director of the Economic Development Authority. In addition, the Governor shall appoint two representatives of the Casino Association of New Jersey, one representative of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association, one representative of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, and two public members. The Commission also shall include one member of the Senate and one public member appointed by the President of the Senate; and one member of the General Assembly and one public member appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly. Vacancies on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. The members appointed by the Governor shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor and without compensation

3. The Governor shall appoint one public member to serve as chair of the Commission and one member to serve as vice-chair of the Commission

4. The Commission shall produce a report on the horse racing industry outlining its recommendations for maintaining the economic viability of the horse racing industry in the State of New Jersey, with a particular analysis of interim and long-term funding alternatives. The report shall be delivered to the Governor and the Legislature by no later than July 1, 2010

5. In furtherance of its mission, the Commission shall be authorized to call upon any department, office, division, or agency of this State to supply it with data and other information, personnel, or assistance available to such agency as the Commission deems necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each department, office, division, or agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate fully with the Commission and to furnish the Commission such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order. The Commission may consult with experts or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector on any aspect of its mission

6. This Order shall take effect immediately.

-- Press Release from Governor's Office

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