NJ Governor Vetoes Budgets of Racing Groups

Two New Jersey racing groups had their budgets vetoed by the governor.

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, facing a multibillion-dollar budget deficit, used his veto power to scrap 2010 budgets for the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey and Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey.

Christie’s office, in a Feb. 18 release, said it’s the fourth time the new governor has exercised veto power to end “the practice of excessive, profligate spending in every part of state government.” Other impacted groups are the Delaware River and Bay Authority, Urban Enterprise Zone, and Schools Development Authority.

Budgets for the racing groups were approved by the New Jersey Racing Commission Jan. 20.

According to the governor’s office, the TBANJ budget was up 19.8% from 2009. Targeted by Christie were $42,500 for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival at Monmouth Park; $40,000 for lobbyists; and $10,000 for an awards banquet.

The SBOANJ budget represented a 5.6% hike from last year.

“As when I have previously exercised veto authority, my administration will continue to scrutinize the actions of the many boards and authorities in our state and root out waste,” Christie said in a statement. “As we face serious fiscal challenges, savings are being identified and realized in every part of state government, including spending reductions. Boards and authorities are no exception to this.”

The future of New Jersey’s horse racing and breeding industry is being studied by various groups. A purse subsidy from the Atlantic City casinos expires at the end of 2010, and there is no plan to renew it.

Thus far, the dialogue has centered on the viability of racing at Meadowlands and Monmouth, both of which are operated by the state.