Tell PA lawmakers to fund students over horse racing

Paying for college is one of the biggest worries facing Pennsylvania families - especially now.  

Governor Wolf wants to create a new program - the Nellie Bly Scholarships - for 44,000 students attending PASSHE schools so more students can attend college and graduate without crushing debt.

To pay for this program, the governor would reduce a 20 year-old subsidy program that pays people to race their horses in PA. Since 2006, the Racehorse Development Fund has given $3 billion in tax dollars to the race horse industry. Most of this funding has been gifted to wealthy horse owners (many of whom live in other states and countries) in the form of cash prizes and breeding incentives. At the same time, student loan debt has more than doubled.

The per horse subsidy through the Race Horse Development Fund is nearly three times the per student state subsidy for students in the State System of Higher Education!!

The program is open to students at Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities. Priority would be given to students in areas where there is need and there are jobs - health care and education.

Tell your legislators they have to make a choice - wealthy horse owners or Pennsylvania students. It's up to them.

The horse owners and breeders won't give up easily. An owner can make $56,000 on a single race - they will fight to hang on to that windfall. They will tell you they love horses - but the truth is each year hundreds of horses die on racetracks and hundreds more get sent to slaughter.

This recent story from the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Betting on Horses' Lives: Death and drugging are common in Pennsylvania's racetracks. It's all been propped up by $3 billion in subsidies. Gov. Wolf wants to end that," details the gruesome story of illegal drugging, cruelty, abuse, and death in PA's horse racing industry.

State lawmakers need to hear from their constituents about this issue. Please take action today!

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Harrisburg, PA