Tell PA lawmakers to fund kids over horse racing

A little-known taxpayer funded public trough called the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund (PRHDF) provides $240 million every year in government subsidies to wealthy horse racing enthusiasts and hobbyists.

Since the fund's inception in 2004, more than three billion of Pennsylvanians’ hard-earned tax dollars have been used to enrich a small number of wealthy race horse owners and hobbyists—many of whom do not live in Pennsylvania.

The system is also rife with conflicts of interest and self-dealing. The industry regulatory body, the State Racing Commission, is run by the horsemen – the very beneficiaries of millions of dollars in state subsidies. The breeding funds operate with little public oversight or accountability to taxpayers.

Meanwhile, grossly inadequate and inequitable state funding for education in Pennsylvania has left students in profoundly underfunded school districts without even the most basic resources that they need to succeed. And every year, school boards are forced to raise property taxes because state funding comes up short.

Pennsylvanians cannot afford to continue bankrolling the sport of kings. As we stare down an uncertain and grim economic future, the last thing state lawmakers should support is spending millions of public dollars subsidizing a luxury industry.

Please contact your state lawmakers and ask them to eliminate the Race Horse Development Fund and direct more than $200 million in taxpayer money into the General Fund budget to invest in supporting Pennsylvania’s public school students.

The commonwealth must look ahead. The best investment we can make is in Pennsylvania’s future  – by investing in public education and providing a solid foundation for students. That is the winning bet.

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