Tom Jennings, the director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, confirmed to harnessracing.com Tuesday afternoon that monies owed from races held at Du Quoin and Springfield last year will remain unpaid for an undetermined amount of time because there simply isn’t any funding available.
Horsemen who raced at the two state fair tracks in Illinois in 2009 have received only half the purse amounts, but Jennings said he hoped that the remainder could be paid at some point in the future.
“The purses are owed, and whenever the general revenue fund is robust enough to pay them, they will get paid,” said Jennings. “We just don’t know when that will be. It’s a ‘when’ question right now, and it depends on if the state borrows more money, or what they do to generate enough revenue to meet those obligations. This is sitting on a stack of bills that are to be paid with all the other vendors of the state that have not been paid.”