Kentucky House Passes Jockey Workers' Comp Bill

Kentucky House Passes Jockey Workers' Comp Bill
Photo: AP
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher, pushed for jockey workers' comp legislation.
Legislation to provide workers' compensation coverage to jockeys in Kentucky, deemed a priority item for Gov. Ernie Fletcher's legislative agenda, was approved 83-12 by the Kentucky House of Representatives Friday.

"If Kentucky is to remain known as the Horse Capital of the World, then we should provide workers' compensation coverage for the jockeys who participate in this thrilling but sometimes dangerous sport," Governor Fletcher said in a statement released through his communications office.

Senate Bill 191, as amended by the House, would create the Kentucky Jockey Injury Fund. It would be financed through a takeout of one-tenth of 1% of total wagering on Kentucky races.

According to the governor's office release, the bill also would create the Kentucky Jockey Injury Corp. with a nine-member board of directors responsible for purchasing workers' compensation insurance for licensed jockeys and apprentice jockeys.

Representative Carolyn Belcher (D-Owingsville), who guided the legislation through the House, said that only for the purposes of obtaining the insurance the jockeys would be considered employees of injury corporation.

"The jockeys will be required to undergo an annual physical examination, paid for by the fund, to identify any preexisting conditions," Belcher said.

Trainers would be required to purchase coverage for exercise riders. The bill now goes back to the Senate for a concurrence vote on House amendments.

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