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Maine anti-racing bill appears dead

March 07, 2019

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Legislation in Maine which would have dramatically reduced harness racing’s share of revenues generated from gaming at the state’s racetracks appears to have been thwarted.

“The bill is effectively dead. There was no legislative support for the bill from anyone on the committee which heard the bill,” said Don Marean, a Maine state representative and director of the U.S. Trotting Association.

A public hearing on the bill was held Wednesday, March 5, and Marean estimated about 200 horse people were in attendance.

“We mobilized the industry and people turned out. We have to give credit to everyone who showed up. When they showed up, that proved to the committee that the industry is an important industry in the state,” said Marean.

“If you don’t show up, the legislators think you don’t care and there is no interest on the issue,” continued Marean. “I don’t know how many people were turned away, because the room only held 200 people.

“We selected about 30 people to speak and gave them subjects and talking points,” Marean added. “Seven legislators testified against the bill; none testified for it. Only one person spoke in favor of the bill, and that was the person with Maine Friends of Animals, who was one of the people behind the legislation.”—By Kathy Parker

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