August 26th, 2004


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

House Democratic Leader To Name Coy To Gaming Board

HARRISBURG: House Democratic Leader H. William DeWeese will appoint retiring state Rep. Jeff Coy of Franklin County to the seven-member Pennsylvania State Gaming Control Board.

DeWeese said Coy’s appointment will be effective Sept. 3, the day after his resignation from the House of Representatives. Coy previously announced his intention not to seek re-election to a 12th term in November.

“Jeff Coy is a paragon of hard work and integrity with a genial disposition and an unimpeachable character. He is tranquil, authentic and unbiased. I am confident his achievements will continue to be stellar in his work with the Gaming Control Board,” DeWeese said. “It makes perfect sense to appoint a lawmaker who fought so hard to get property tax relief approved before he retired to the board that will oversee the industry that will deliver $1 billion in property tax reductions to homeowners across Pennsylvania.”

Coy serves as House Democratic Caucus secretary, the fourth highest leadership position in the caucus. DeWeese also noted Coy’s membership on the state House of Representatives’ Ethics and Rules committees.

DeWeese said he was in constant consultation regarding the appointment with Democratic Whip Mike Veon, who was instrumental in crafting the gaming measure and ushering its passage through the state House.

“Jeff Coy has an unparalleled record of public and community service – from his position on the Orrstown Bank board of directors, to his strong stand for public education as a member of the State System of Higher Education board and his former chairmanship of the Shippensburg University Board of Trustees, to his 14-year tenure as a volunteer fire company president to his 22 years in the state legislature,” Veon said. “He has a proven record of helping to run boards and businesses and will put those skills to great use with this new state enterprise.”

A graduate of Shippensburg Area Senior High School and Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in government administration, Coy has remained active with local groups. The Franklin County resident served nine years on the multi-state Chesapeake Bay Commission and is treasurer of the Joint State Government Commission, a research arm of the General Assembly.

“Hailing from a mostly rural area of central Pennsylvania, Jeff is an ideal choice to be the voice of working families on the gaming board. He is a longtime advocate for agriculture in the House of Representatives and he certainly will represent their best interests,” Veon said. “After all, agriculture and the 35,000 jobs associated with the horse-racing industry were a key concern when drafting this law. The additional thousands of jobs that will be created show the importance of awarding licenses to businesses that will be up to the task.”

The Gaming Control Board comprises three gubernatorial appointees and four legislative appointees (one from each legislative caucus). Actions of the board to license applicants will require a qualified majority of the board -- the vote of one gubernatorial appointee and all four legislative appointees. Legislative appointees will serve two-year terms on the board.

DeWeese said the new slots law (Act 71) is the culmination of nearly a decade of legislative discussions on the gaming issue. It was signed by Gov. Ed Rendell July 5 and authorizes up to 14 slot licenses, including seven at racetracks, five stand-alone or non-track facility licenses, and two licenses at resort hotels. Each of the 12 racetrack and stand-alone licenses would carry a one-time fee of $50 million, while the resort type would cost $5 million each. Licenses need to be renewed annually following submission of updated qualifying information.

Coy and his wife Jo Anne are active members of Memorial Lutheran Church in Shippensburg, where they reside. She recently retired as an English teacher in the Shippensburg Area School District.

“He is a fascinating amalgamation of the rustic politico at the county fair and the keen, cool, clear- eyed and savvy observer of the Pennsylvania socioeconomic and political scenes. Jeff Coy has represented Cumberland and Franklin counties with militant and unflagging loyalty for 22 years. As a member of the State Gaming Control Board, he now can provide that same commitment to the entire Commonwealth,” DeWeese said.