Former Governor Jim Edgar Letter to the ITHA Posted On:Aug 24, 2011 | Posted By:Glen
Letter from former Governor Jim Edgar in regards to the ITHA meeting with Governor Quinn
As an owner of both Thoroughbred and Standardbred race horses, I am very concerned about the future of racing in Illinois. I was happy when invited by the Thoroughbred and Standardbred groups to go with them to meet with Governor Quinn in regard to Senate Bill 744. The Governor was very gracious in spending over an hour and a half with the group. I thought the leadership of the horse racing groups did an excellent job in presenting racings' concerns to the Governor. Most people outside of racing have little understanding or appreciation for the plight of racing in Illinois. Governor Quinn was no exception. But during the meeting I felt the horsemen did a very good job in explaining to the Governor the realities of racing in Illinois, and the need for Senate Bill 744 to be signed in its current form. By the end of the meeting I felt Governor Quinn had a much better understanding of the problems facing our industry in Illinois. As Governor for eight years I had several such meetings with groups trying to convince me of their position. I believe the horsemen did as good a job as any that I heard during my time as Governor.
Only time will tell what Governor Quinn will do. But I strongly feel that your leadership did all they could have at that meeting. It's now crucial that everyone concerned about racing contact the Governor's office and their legislators in support of racing. There is a good chance that this issue will go back to the legislature in the form of a trailer bill, and we need to make sure that the needs of racing are met. Your leadership is doing all they can. Now it's up to you to do all you can to make sure we get our needs across the finish line.