Statement From Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson On Statewide Fiscal Impact Of NYC OTB Closure

December 09, 2010

Racing & Wagering Board Meets to Stop Fiscal Hemorrhage; GOP Vote Compromises 17,000 Jobs, $500 Million in Payments to OTBs Statewide and Raises State Deficit to $10 Billion

Yesterday, one thousand New Yorkers lost their jobs because Senate Republicans chose to hide behind their political bosses rather than stand up for working families and taxpayers. Their votes have consequences – and the reverberations from playing politics with New Yorkers’ livelihoods have begun to hit all taxpayers: 17,000 jobs supported by the equine industry are at risk, more than $500 million in annual payments to breeders and tracks statewide have disappeared, and the state deficit for next year has now passed the staggering $10 billion mark.
The same Republican politicians who brought us 40 years of economic failure are ready to pick up right where they left off.  Rather than work with us to save the tellers and clerks in New York City, and the breeders, farms, raceways, and small business owners Upstate and on Long Island who rely on the racing industry for survival, Senate Republicans voted to kill their jobs. The Racing and Wagering Board is taking efforts to stop the hemorrhage, but the bloodletting has begun.
Make no mistake – this is a devastating and selfish blow to New York’s economy – all because of a Republican leader who had too much pride to simply do what was right, and a conference which played “follow the Leader” instead of protecting workers.
When called upon to act in the best interests of the people of New York, Senate Republicans lacked the courage and independence to break with their Leader and fulfill their duty as elected officials.  And now, without actually negotiating with anyone other than themselves, they introduced legislation NYRA says will land the racing industry right back into bankruptcy.
Talk is cheap, but their choices and votes will now prove costly to millions of New Yorkers, a surprise to no one who has watched Senate Republicans preside over New York’s economic collapse over the past 40 years.