10 Principles for Texas
in the 21st Century
- Develop a better-educated workforce
- Direct more of every education dollar into the classroom
- Raise the bar on student performance
- Cut taxes in Texas
- Introduce competition into Texas government
- Improve government performance and accountability
- Reduce the size of government
- Bring common sense to regulations
- Use technology to cut costs and increase quality
- Return control to communities and individuals
During the last regular legislative session, I recommended that we allow video lottery at racetracks where the people of Texas have already voted for gaming, wrapped in a constitutional amendment approved by the voters, dedicating every penny to lowering skyrocketing local property taxes and new dollars for higher and secondary education.
Over a billion dollars a year are being sucked out of Texas classrooms to other states! I want to repatriate those dollars, those ponies and the jobs that go with them back to Texas classrooms and hardworking taxpayers.
Adding video lottery terminals, or VLT’s, to the mix of games offered by the Texas Lottery Commission is a much-needed new economic engine for Texas, creating thousands of jobs. I remain convinced that this would be a huge win for Texas school children and Texas taxpayers.
Video lottery’s economic benefit to Texas is not limited to bringing back money Texans are already spending elsewhere. Video lottery operations in Texas also would create thousands of jobs. Texans could pick up 10,000 to 15,000 new jobs once the tracks are fully equipped.
And most importantly for racing, video lottery terminals at the tracks would also enhance—and rescue—the racing industry and all the agriculture business that it drives. Larger purses have improved the quality of the horses at other state’s tracks and have benefited the horse industry in those places. I want to do that for Texas.
Approving video lottery operations in Texas racetracks will almost certainly bring up the issue of gaming operations by our Native American tribes. The tribes are free to carry on any gaming activities that are approved by the state.
We need to approach the tribes respectfully, as partners, or we risk losing them entirely.
The tribes want to educate their children and serve their members’ health care needs, no different from any other community. The stated top priority of one of the tribes is to ensure that all of the children can attend college through a grant/scholarship program through any new money it can generate.
Texas needs a new economic engine and schools need a new money generator. Video lottery at racetracks will provide both.
Carole Keeton Strayhorn