McConnell legislation introduced in Senate
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On Wednesday (Sept. 9), Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell (R) introduced the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. Also on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 46-5 to mark up the Horseracing Integrity Act with a substitute amendment offered by Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., with bipartisan support from Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky, to bring it in line with the McConnell bill.
The Thoroughbred industry strongly supports the proposal with track management, horsemen's associations, WHOA and many high-profile trainers on record as being proponents of the proposed legislation.
Last week Meadowlands president Jeff Gural announced his support for the legislation. "I feel it is vitally important that we get behind this legislation and I believe that the stated concerns of the USTA can be addressed to their satisfaction as the language is shaped. We all know the current system does not work. The is our best chance to have effective regulation of integrity related matters in harness racing," said Gural in a statement.
The US Trotting Association has been opposed to the legislation in part because funding federal intervention in horse racing will be based on a fee per start and Standardbreds make many more starts than Thoroughbreds, thus Standardbred racing would foot more of the bill.