The Post's account of efforts to revive horse racing in Maryland ["High Stakes at Pimlico," Metro, May 15] reported inaccurately that the improvement plan required of race track licensees before they can receive an additional $10 million subsidy for track purses needs the approval of both the governor and the legislature. This year's subsidy legislation allows the Legislative Policy Committee of the General Assembly to review and comment on the plan, but only the governor's approval is required.

It should be noted that a bipartisan group of five senators and 22 delegates voted against this subsidy legislation, and that recent studies have been both sanguine and skeptical regarding the cost-benefit value of taxpayers spending $25 million over the past three years to buttress a stagnating industry with a shrinking fan base.

With Maryland's high-wage job growth from 1990 and 1997 (those in the top third of the pay scale) declining by 0.3 percent, while nationally and in neighboring Virginia such job growth increased by 9.8 and 9.3 percent, respectively, Maryland should be investing in industries creating higher-wage, family-sustaining jobs. The ability of the Maryland horse racing industry to grow such jobs has not been established, and the plan required by the recent legislation for "substantial improvements in track facilities, management and marketing" is not synonymous with the major overhaul and transformation that must occur if this industry is to continue to expect taxpayer support.


Maryland Delegate (R-Pasadena)