Legislation linked to the long-delayed approval of the California state budget Feb. 20 could mean up to an additional $32 million a year for the state's beleaguered horse racing industry.
A bill that would allow California racetracks to retain their license fees to boost purses and breeders' awards successfully passed out of the California State Senate Governmental Organization Committee April 24 on a 7-0 vote.
California State Senator Dean Florez announced April 20 that he intends to introduce legislation that allows California racetracks to retain their license fees, using those funds, amounting to about $40 million a year, to increase purses and provide breeders' awards and incentives.
A Kentucky legislator has pre-filed several bills for the 2004 General Assembly session, including one that would authorize electronic gaming devices at racetracks, and another that calls for a constitutional amendment on the subject.
A $1-million reduction in funding from the state has led the Kentucky Racing Commission to propose an increase in license fees. In some cases, the fees would triple, but commission officials said the hike is necessary to maintain basic services.
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