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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: October 15, 2013 09:53 AM
From: Senator Elder A. Vogel, Jr. and Sen. Dominic Pileggi, Sen. Joseph B. Scarnati, III, Sen. Robert M. Tomlinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: Amending the Race Horse Industry Reform Act
In the near future we intend to introduce legislation amending the Race Horse Industry Reform Act of 1981 (RHIR).

The act, responsible for the oversight of the racing industries in Pennsylvania, has not be updated in over twenty years despite drastic changes in the way game is funded, raced and regulated. Our legislation will bring the Race Horse Industry Reform Act into the 21st Century.

Currently, the State Racing and Harness Racing Commissions are each comprised of three members as an administrative body under the Department of Agriculture; our proposal dissolves both commissions. This proposal will re-establish the function of regulatory oversight of the racing industry within the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Since the inception of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, we certainly have seen the economic benefits of our racing industries. Purses, racing days, employees and horses operating at our tracks have all increased. The regulation of the industry has gotten expensive and complex, but now more important than ever. Sadly, live handle (money wagered on our tracks for our horses) has decreased which is the sole funding source for the enforcement of the RHIR. Our legislation will make a number of changes to licensure, fines, fees and the pari-mutual tax structure to properly fund regulatory oversight and drug testing.

Please join us in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation which will help ensure the continued prosperity, integrity and oversight of Pennsylvania’s racing industry.

If you have any questions or required further information, please contact Mike Rader at 717-787-3076.

Introduced as SB1188