Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said May 29 he will call a special legislative session to deal with "the largest budget shortfall in modern Kentucky history," but stopped short of saying he will put racetrack gaming on the agenda.
Kentucky racetrack operators said May 20 the state's horseracing and breeding industries have reached a critical juncture, and without legislative assistance in the form of on-track gaming, the damage could be irreparable.
As Kentucky's equine industry awaits word on whether Gov. Steve Beshear will call a special legislative session that could have racetrack gaming on the agenda, representatives of the state's racetracks and horsemen's groups will hold a press conference May 20 to discuss the state of the horse business. Meanwhile, Ohio horseracing interests plan a statehouse rally May 19 to lobby for legislative relief.
A decision on whether to call a special legislative session -- one that could include alternative gaming and relief for the horse industry -- will be made in a few weeks, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said April 29.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said he has been proactive in his support of expanded gambling to assist horse racing and breeding, and the "continued tough economy may further underscore that effort."
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced March 27 the Kentucky Breeders' Incentive Fund will distribute more than $18.7 million in awards for 2008.
A 187-page bill that passed the Kentucky Senate March 13 includes provisions for a tax break for the Breeders' Cup World Championships if the event is held in Kentucky in 2011 or 2012, or 2011 and 2012.
With the Kentucky General Assembly seemingly headed for a special session this spring or summer to address a substantial revenue deficit, a legislative committee March 12 heard testimony on a bill that would authorize video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state.
The multi-year quest for a stable funding source for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission took another turn March 10 when legislation to increase the powers of the KHRC unanimously passed a Senate committee. Whether the bill is approved--and whether the commission gets a new funding source--could be determined on the Senate floor.
The chairman of the Kentucky Equine Education Project said Feb. 18 he expects gaming-related legislation benefitting the Kentucky horse industry to pass -- but he's not sure when.
More than 100 people who make their living in the Kentucky horse industry made their case to three Northern Kentucky legislators Feb. 16, and the message was clear: The economics must change or the state will lose a valuable asset.
Revised legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks unanimously passed out of a House of Representatives committee Feb. 12, but its sponsor is unsure the measure will be voted on by the full House during the current General Assembly session.
Legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks will be amended in several key areas, one of which is a substantial increase in the licensing fee racetracks would pay for VLT licenses.
Democratic Kentucky Rep. Greg Stumbo plans to file legislation to authorize Kentucky Lottery Corp.-operated video lottery terminals at the state's racetracks.
The bipartisan Joint Subcommittee on Horse Farming, which meets periodically when the Kentucky General Assembly isn't in session, has made strides in educating lawmakers on the importance and scope of Kentucky's horse industry. And the challenges for the industry won't go away.
A Kentucky legislator plans to pre-file a bill for 2009 that would provide dedicated funding for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority and create a new fund to supplement purses for all breeds at Kentucky racetracks.
The chairman of the Kentucky Equine Education Project said the organization is "disappointed" not only in the failure of legislation calling for a constitutional amendment on casino gambling, but also with the way the measure was handled from the beginning of this year's General Assembly session.
With a contentious proposal to legalize casinos stalled in the House, a lawmaker is floating a compromise measure that would allow only slot machines and video poker at Kentucky racetracks.
By Evan Hammonds - The casino bill's chances in Kentucky aren't necessarily a longshot, but aren't exactly 2-5, either.
After a Kentucky constitutional amendment calling for nine casino licenses passed out of committee Feb. 27, it was unclear whether the horse industry would continue to support the legislation. But indications lawmakers and Gov. Steve Beshear would look out for the industry led the Kentucky Equine Education Project to support the bill.
Action on recommended revisions to a constitutional amendment to authorize a vote on casino gambling in Kentucky will wait until the week of Feb. 24.
A legislative subcommittee studying expanded gambling in Kentucky has recommended a revised constitutional amendment that reduces the number of casinos permitted in the state to nine, requires local approval of some sort for all casinos, and removes dedicated percentages for gaming revenue.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear unveiled legislation Feb. 14 calling for a constitutional amendment to allow for up to 12 casinos--seven at racetracks and five at non-racetrack locations.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear again has called for the state General Assembly to approve legislation allowing a referendum on casino gambling, but details of the legislation still haven't been released.
To continue dialogue on why Kentucky needs expanded gaming, and to further educate the General Assembly on the matter, Kentucky Equine Education Project executive director Patrick Neely recently gave a presentation during a special legislative subcommittee meeting in Frankfort, the state capital.
Details on legislation to authorize casino gambling in Kentucky will have to wait for another day.
Representatives from Kentucky's Thoroughbred racetracks pitched legalized casino gambling to a state legislative panel Jan. 9, and suggested they haven't decided whether gambling halls would be located at tracks.
Discussion by Kentucky lawmakers on a public television program revealed a split on casino gambling. Meanwhile, a legislative working group hopes to have a report on the issue ready for the state General Assembly by Feb. 1, 2008.
Democrat Steve Beshear, who supports a referendum on casino gambling and made it part of his campaign, easily won the race for governor of Kentucky in the Nov. 6 election.
Industry participants offered their views on the recommendations released Oct. 15 by the 36-member Sales Integrity Task Force.
A public forum on preliminary recommendations by the Sales Integrity Task Force to the Kentucky legislature on auction transparency issues will be held at Keeneland Oct. 15 at 1 p.m.
Kentucky legislators said tax relief for the horse industry and dedicated funding for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority will be prominent issues when the state General Assembly convenes in 2008.
The Sales Integrity Task Force, a 36-member group looking into issues such as the licensing of agents and ownership disclosure at auctions, will submit its first report to Kentucky lawmakers June 19.
The May 22 Kentucky gubernatorial primary is expected to have implications for expanded gambling, an issue the state's horse industry fully expects to be addressed during the 2008 General Assembly session. But regardless of who is elected in November, the legislature may hold the cards.
Thirty-six representatives of the Kentucky horse industry have agreed to join the Sales Intergrity Task Force, which will meet again sometime in May. The complete list of members was released April 30 by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
Kentucky lawmakers differ on the reasons legislation that would have provided stable funding for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority died during this year's General Assembly session. Meanwhile, a call has gone out for legislators to rally around a push for expanded gambling in the state.
Legislation that would have provided about $5 million a year to fund the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority died in the final days of the state's 2007 General Assembly session.
Time is running out for legislation that would provide the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority with about $5 million a year and spare racetracks the cost of equine drug testing.
Legislation to authorize casino gambling at racetracks and non-racing facilities has been introduced again in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project is pushing legislation that would remove the sales tax on equine feed and supplies in the state.
Proposed Kentucky legislation that sparked controversy in the Thoroughbred auction community was tabled Feb. 14 after a compromise was reached between the bill's backers and several entities related to the commonwealth's signature industry.
Kentucky tracks would get a tax break for one major racing event per year under legislation introduced in the state General Assembly.
Shaking off defeat of the casino bill in the recent legislative session, the Kentucky Equine Education Project showed a fresh outlook for the remainder of 2006 in a public meeting May 9 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
More than $15 million for horse industry-related projects and financial relief is included in the 2006-07 budget approved April 11 by the Kentucky General Assembly. The spending plan now goes to Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher for consideration.
Davant Latham, the director of bloodstock for Darby Dan Farm, has left to open Davant Latham Bloodstock and Insurance. Latham had been at Darby Dan near Lexington for three years.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has extended its public comment period for new administrative regulations governing multi-jurisdictional wagering hubs, a law for which was passed in 2004. Two years later, no hubs are operating in the state.
Legislation to authorize workers' compensation insurance for jockeys appears to have stalled in the Kentucky General Assembly and probably won't be voted on during the current session, which is nearing an end.
A Kentucky House committee approved legislation March 15 to authorize a constitutional amendment on casino gambling, but the substitute measure--believed to have little or no chance of passage in the full House--makes no mention of racetracks or dedicated revenue for state programs, the lynchpins of legislation proposed by the Kentucky Equine Education Project.
Legislation that would protect buyers and sellers in equine transactions unanimously passed the Kentucky Senate March 15 and now heads to the House of Representatives for concurrence. The House previously approved a different version of the bill.
A compromise would add three or four locations to the eight racetracks that would offer casino gambling under legislation already introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
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