The West Virginia House of Delegates' approval of a bill to replenish the state's thoroughbred fund is a welcome development for the state's breeders in general and the Charles Town Races in particular. The bill's sponsor, Jefferson County Del. John Doyle, should press on, despite some objections from some critics who don't understand the issue.
The thoroughbred fund, which pays a bonus to any West Virginia breeder who wins at a state track, now holds about $800,000, down from $2.5 million several years ago. Doyle's bill would pump it up by funneling 4 percent of the net income from video lottery into the fund.
The bill needs the legislature's approval because, by law, proceeds from video lottery go to senior citizens, education and tourism. Critics like Del. Robert Pulliam, D-Raleigh, say they're not sure how the bill would benefit those areas.
Video lottery was approved as a measure to save thoroughbred racing and the many Jefferson County jobs that depend on it. If the industry fails, Doyle says, there'll be fewer tax dollars to support education or seniors' programs.