It has just been announced that Lt. Governor Patrick has named three replacements to serve on the Legislative Budget Board, which is in control of funding for the Texas Racing Commission. Patrick replaced Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D – McAllen), a friend to the Texas horse industry, with Carlos Uresti (D – San Antonio).
Senator Uresti has a district office in Eagle Pass, also the home of the Lucky Eagle Casino operated by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. The Tribe and bingo interests filed a lawsuit in Travis County last year seeking to stop historical racing. That is the case now being appealed by the horsemen to the 3rd Court of Appeals.
Also being replaced are Senator Kevin Eltife (R – Tyler), who is reported to be retiring, and Senator Craig Estes (R – Wichita Falls). Both Eltife and Estes have been opponents of Historical Racing. New appointees are also opponents of Historical Racing: Senator Joan Huffman (R – Houston) and Larry Taylor (R – Friendswood).