McConnell Rides in With Substitute Legislation for HR 1754 Proposing Independent Horse Racing integrity & Safety Authority & Provisions.

SITUATION:
McConnell just re-intro’d SB 1820 as new Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act.
Provisions of universal safety regulations in HISA bill are watered down.
Could turn out to be a landmark moment in the battle for a bill.
Seeks to cover race day medication, drug testing & track safety
He and Churchill Downs obstacle to Horse Racing Integrity Act (HRIA).
Bill had considerable support in the House but much less in the Senate.

SIGNIFICANCE:
McConnell’s bill would supersede HRIA & add legislation on racetrack safety.
Proposes an independent Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority.
Governed by a nine-member board- Non-racing people, owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, tracks, veterinarians & state racing commissions.
Legislation gained support in House but failed to gain traction in the Senate.
SB 1820 seeks to builds on Horse Racing Integrity Act from House HR 1754.

SOLUTIONS:
Drug regulations would be enforced by the U.S. Anti-Doping Authority.
May be the legislation so many in U.S. racing have been waiting for.
McConnell claims to have found compromise within the industry.

The Proposed McConnell Bill Content: [Now SB 1820]:
Creates a private, independent, self-regulatory nonprofit organization.
Tasked with developing & implementing horse racing anti-doping & medication control program & racetrack safety program.
Racing authority would be governed by a nine-member board of directors.
Creates accreditation program to ensure racetracks comply with standards.
Including training, racing safety standards, racetrack design & maintenance;
Provides oversight of human equine injury reporting and prevention;

SAYS:

“If we want to preserve horse racing and its future, we need to act. We owe it to the horses, we owe it to the jockeys, we owe it to the trainers, breeders and fans to make Thoroughbred racing as fair and as safe as possible.”
—-Mitch McConnell. U.S. Senate

“No representative horsemen’s groups, horseplayers or veterinary leadership organizations seem to have been consulted in the collaboration.”
— — Eric Hamelback, CEO of National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association,(Trainers)

“Because the legislative text has not yet been released, the National HBPA will reserve final judgment, but we caution our elected leaders to not be misled by the wealthy few who continue to promote federal legislation in service to their own, private interest. Based on what we heard today, we are concerned these elite few continue to hold the reins.” — — Eric Hamelback, CEO of National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association,(Trainers)

STATS:
24,000 Kentuckians work in horse racing industry

SOURCES:
Mitch McConnell  202 224-2541 [Mail Box VM Says “Not Receiving Calls at this time”]

Dianne Feinstein. (202) 224-3841 [Will answers the phone & takes messages]
Chief of Staff.– David Grannis;  Legislative Director.–Roscoe Jones.

Jon Hale Louisville Courier Journal wrote article

Advocates of the Horse Racing Integrity Act:
Marty Irby, Exec Dir Animal Wellness Action,  202-821-5686
Kentucky Republican Rep. Andy Barr (202) 225-4706
NY Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko.

Note: Version of the Horse Racing Integrity Act H.R.1754 Now amended to match up with SB 1820 as  of Sept 9th.

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