The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 19, 1987, Image 3

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Thursday, November 19, 1987/The Battalion/Page 3 ! ! State and Local Professor says pari-mutuel vote to benefit A&M By Leslie Guy Reporter In addition to keeping more Texas money in the state and put ting more money into the Texas tiorse industry, pari-mutuel wa tering will open new career alterna- °niBtives to Texas A&M animal science isai majors, said animal science profes sor Dr. Gary Potter. "Students are now aware of an other area in the horse industry where they might find opportunity when they get out of here,” Potter said. “I think that has changed dra matically since the pari-mutuel bill passed.” The overall effects of pari-mutuel wagering on the horse industry and griculture in Texas will be positive and will cause more demand for reeding farms, training facilities, farriers, veterinarians and other areas associated with the industry, Potter said. “The fact that there will be racing is going to demand more horses,” Potter said. "Crop production, hay inm he\ ini nliii mi production and grain production are going to be affected by virtue of the fact that there’s going to be ex pansion in the number of horses that are racing and being produced to be raced in the state.” Potter also believes new money will come into Texas for the devel opment of training and breeding fa cilities. “Because of our climate, we can train year round,” Potter said. "We can train in the winter for spring races in the East.” Senior James Sherwood, an agri cultural economics major, agrees that he has many more opportuni ties as a horse trainer now that were previously not open to him. He now spends four to five months a year out of the state racing the horses he has trained at pari-mutuel tracks. “This puts new hope into what I do,” Sherwood said. “I would have had to move out of the state (to a state that allows pari-mutuel wa gering) or else do something else if pari-mutuel had not passed.” Pari-mutuel in Texas will lower his travel expenses and increase his earnings. He expects to make about $ 10,000 more per year. Potter believes that pari-mutuel betting will help keep Texans’ money in the state and provide a boost for the economy. “Pari-mutuel is an economic issue in that people are going to the race tracks now, and they are spending money at the race tracks now,” Pot ter said. “Unfortunately, all that money is leaving our state because they are going to Louisiana, Arkan “Students are now aware of another area in the horse industry where they might find opportunity when they get out of here. I think that has changed dramatically since the pari-mutuel bill passed. ” — Dr. Gary Potter, animal science professor sas. New Mexico, Oklahoma and other places that have pari-mutuel wagering.” In addition to the money wagered at the track, people spend money for motels, food and gasoline. And when they travel to another state, the money stays in that state’s econ omy, Potter said. “Some have argued that pari-mu tuel horse racing does not create new money and that is true,” he said. “It does not generate new money but it keeps money in the state that’s now going out, so in effect it does create new money.” Dr. Donald Deere, an assistant professor of economics, also says the money Texans spend out of state now will be spent in the state. How ever, he believes the economic boom may not be as large as it appears. Deere’s key point is that the source of the revenues raised for horse racing must be examined. Money to be spent on horse racing may come from money that would have been spent on taxable items otherwise, he said. If that is the case, tax money in the state treasury will decrease while revenues raised through pari-mutel betting will in crease, he said. In effect, the money in the trea sury would originate somewhere else, Deere said. “The main thing is to be aware that the net effects, not the gross ef fects, are what matter,” Deere said. “We won’t benefit if it is just a shif t of dollars from one area to another.” Both Potter and Deere agree it is too early to make predictions as to the amount that will be generated for the treasury. But Potter said the direct taxes from pari-mutuel bet ting will be more than .$100 million per year. He also said that, other than a few small changes in the curriculum, the effects of the bill on the animal sci ence department will be minimal. The labs will have to re-adjust to de vote more time to the study of race horses. Sherwood believes pari-mutuel is a good thing for Texas and thinks the positive effects outweigh the negative ones. “If pari-mutuel was bad, all those other states wouldn’t have it,” Sher wood said. “Texas was missing out and now we’re not. It will help me personally because I don’t want to leave Texas and the horse business.” Student Senate OKs setting minimum on number of days between elections By Drew Leder Staff Writer After lengthy debate Wednesday, i the Student Senate unanimously ap- •i proved setting a minimum of three days between the time results of Stu dent Government primary elections are posted and the day of the runoff election. A bill calling for seven days be tween the two elections was origi nally presented to the Senate but af ter about 20 minutes of debate, it was amended to set the minimum time between elections at three days, k Several senators said a seven-day spread wouldn’t increase voter turn out as intended, but would have an opposite effect because student in terest would decrease over time. An other argument against the seven- day period, as presented by Student Body President Mason Hogan and some senators, was that it would in crease the stress placed on candi dates who would be campaigning over the extended time period. Hogan called down Jason Wilcox, freshman class vice president, to su- port his position. Wilcox was voted into office in a runoff election this semester. “We were ready to get this thing over with,” Wilcox said, referring to the elections. “It (campaigning) takes a lot of time and it interferes with grades. Don’t extend it too long.” Ronnie Gipson, chairman of the external affairs committee and one of the authors of the bill, accepted the amendment to decrease the pe riod after telling the Senate that by not allowing adequate time for stu dent awareness of runoffs, the Sen ate would be promoting student apa thy. Gipson said that if the bill was left in original form it would have died. The Senate also unanimously ap proved a reapportionment bill that reduces graduate seats in the Senate from eight to three and add a seat for both a medical or veterinary stu dent and another freshman. The bill, which maintains 88 total seats, was accepted in the original form presented by the Rules and Regulations committee Chairman Pat O’Neal. It also allots a seat to both science and geosciences, which formerly were grouped together. O’Neal also introduced a bill that would create a committee to investi gate possible changes in University rules and regulations. The commit tee would recommend policy changes that the Senate coula make to the University Rules and Regula tions Committee when annual revi sions are made. The bill is scheduled for a vote at the next Senate meeting in two weeks. The Senate also was informed of a proposition made by Jackie Sherrill Wednesday morning to allow an “OT Sarge” character to entertain fans at A&M football games from the track around Kyle Field. Several senators said they disapproved of including a proposed seven-foot character with Texas A&M’s traditional game en tertainment. Mattox, O'Hair say courses in religion should be taught AUSTIN (AP) — Attorney General Jim Mattox told lawmak ers on Wednesday that state col leges should teach religion courses, although he has ruled the way it is now done is unconsti tutional. Atheist leader Madalyn Mur ray O’Hair of Austin also testified that students should learn about religion, but from professors picked by a university, not reli gious groups. The House Public Education Committee convened Wednesday to hear about efforts to get the courses in line with recent opin ions in which Mattox has held that it is improper for state uni versities to offer Bible courses taught by instructors picked and paid for by church groups. The University of Texas at Austin has used instructors se lected and paid by the Biblical Studies Association for 80 years. The school now is looking for a new way to offer the courses. “I believe the religious studies are important to the curriculum at the University of Texas at Aus tin,” UT President William Cun ningham told the committee. Mattox agreed, saying an edu cated person “needs to know the difference in what people believe around this world.” But he said it is difficult, though not impossible, to craft religion courses that would not vi olate the constitutional ban on church-state entanglement. 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