Wednesday, May 25, the House Agriculture Committee passed Senate Bill SB 504 and SB 505 to the full House of Representatives for a vote, with recommendation that it pass.
SB 504 amended several existing sections of the Horse Racing Law of 1995. If the bill passes there will no longer be a purse pool account for racing breeds. The purses will accumulate at the site specific to the racing breed. The split will then be at 75% to the track and 25% to the purse account of the breed racing at that track. With this split it is anticipated there will no longer be starter fees.
The bill added two new sections: Section 6a which would establish a new Horse Racing Advisory Commission within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Section 19b, provides for the distribution of over $1 million, currently held in escrow, to be used for harness racing purses in 2017-2018. The funds, collected from the 2014 harness racing meet at Hazel Park, have been held by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) until this amendment was added.
There is no reference to Advanced Deposit Wagering (ADW) in the bill as it now will be up to the MGCB to implement ADW through rule and regulation authorization. SB 505 would amend Section 14d of the Code of Criminal Procedure by establishing sentencing guidelines consistent with the provisions of the Horse Racing Act of 1995.
The bills go before the full House of Representatives for a vote. MHHA highly recommends you contact your State Representative and ask for support of SB 504 and SB 505 as amended. You may find your State Representative by clicking on this link: http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic
Thank you for your continued assistance in this critical legislation.
Larry Julian MHHA