CHARLESTON,WV— Today, Governor Jim Justice announced that he will veto legislation (Senate Bill 437) to eliminate greyhound racing. The announcement took place at Independence Hall in Wheeling, WV, home of the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack.
The Governor made it clear that he supports keeping greyhound racing in West Virginia and the 1,700 jobs that come with it. The Governor’s budget plan has always protected funding for greyhound racing.
“If we get rid of greyhound racing it will mean job losses and fewer people coming to West Virginia,” said Governor Jim Justice. “Eliminating support for the greyhounds is a job killer and I can’t sign it. The last thing we need to do is drive more people out of West Virginia. We can’t turn our back on communities like Wheeling that benefit from dog racing.”
In his veto message, Justice questioned the legality of the Legislature unilaterally decoupling West Virginia casinos and race tracks since counties authorized gaming and racing as a package deal. Justice said that SB 437 would also jeopardize the health of the state’s casino industry.
Justice added, “Greyhounds are born runners, and I hope to keep them running in West Virginia for a very long time.”