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

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    Thursday, November 19, 1987/The Battalion/Page 3
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State and Local
Professor says pari-mutuel vote to benefit A&M
By Leslie Guy
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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.
O’Hair said she has long chal
lenged the UT system.
“I think that it’s impossible for
persons who are teaching these
courses now to teach them in an
unbiased way,” O’Hair said.
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