Historic horse racing will not make the ballot in November.
The State Supreme Court ruled the law passed by the legislature this year violated the constitution’s prohibition against containing more than one issue.
Gambling with the Good Life’s Pat Loontjer is overjoyed by the ruling.
“I think I cried my eyes out this morning. I am so happy. Thank you, God. Thank you, God. It is a miracle,” Loontjer tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “The campaign that we would have been up against, the lies that they were telling on Amendment One, and the money that they were going to spend; it is truly a miracle that we’ve been spared having this horrible amendment on the ballot.”
The law approved this past legislative session asked voters to approve historic horse racing at the state’s five horse tracks. It also contained language designating how revenue generated through betting on historic horse racing would be spent, including a promise of property tax reduction.
Supporters say historic horse racing would generate the new revenue needed to keep live horse racing viable in Nebraska. Under historic horse racing, past races are displayed on video machines with enough detail disguised to conceal the outcome.
Loontjer says supporters in the Unicameral went too far in trying to collect votes when they added provisions to cut property taxes.
“They got greedy knowing that they couldn’t get the votes if the honest question was answered and they really shot themselves in the foot by doing it,” according to Loontjer. “So, thank God the Supreme Court saw that.”
The case is Loontjer v. Gale.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this story.