The Massachusetts State Senate voted today against two budget amendments that would have delayed until 2012 implementation of the state’s scheduled ban on live greyhound racing, but observers say there’s still hope for passage.
An article by Quincy (MA) Patriot Ledger reporter Nancy Reardon in today’s on-line edition explained that some legislators voted against the amendments on procedural grounds, believing that the racing ban issue should be addressed separately from the budget.
The article quoted Senator Marc Pacheco, who represents Taunton, where Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park is located. "I’m asking for a delay, not a repeal," Pacheco reportedly told his legislative colleagues.
A poll commissioned by the National Greyhound Association and an organization of ban opponents found that 61 percent of Massachusetts residents believe the track closings should be deferred until the economy improves. Closure of the two state tracks is expected to eliminate more than 1,300 jobs and cost the host communities, Taunton and Revere, hundreds of thousands in tax revenues.
Pacheco is urging legislators to take quick action on the proposed ban delay to keep employees working and ensure that track revenues can be included in fiscal 2010 budgets for both cities.