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 Kentucky Breeders Incentive Program, which began offering financial awards for various breeds of horses in 2006, is poised to increase by 20%--to about $18 million or $19 million--next year.
The Sales Integrity Task Force submitted its first report to Kentucky lawmakers at a Joint Interim Committee on Licensing and Occupations meeting June 19 in Erlanger, Ky.
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.
Though Breeders' Cup officials believe Churchill Downs is a premier host site for the World Championships, the rebuilt clubhouse at the Kentucky racetrack has created a problem providing quality seating for guests of Breeders' Cup.
Tax relief for the horse industry, not racetrack gaming, will be the focus of the Kentucky Equine Education Project during the 2007 General Assembly session, according to the chairman of the organization.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher has vetoed the legislature's elimination of an operating fee paid to the KHRA by the state's racetracks, but it won't have an impact on funds expected by the authority this year.
A $13.5-million appropriation for an expansion of the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center in Lexington is among the budget line items vetoed by Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher.
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.
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.
Legislation that would protect buyers and sellers in equine transactions is on its way to the floor of the Kentucky Senate, though one lawmaker plans to offer two amendments. Meanwhile, horse industry representatives planned another meeting to hammer out a compromise on some language in the bill.
California vintner and Thoroughbred owner Jess Jackson met with Kentucky Senate Republicans Jan. 26 to discuss legislation that would make it unlawful for anyone to represent both buyer and seller in a transaction involving horses without written permission of both parties.
A Kentucky Horse Racing Authority subcommittee has recommended a Thoroughbred breed incentive program that would have national and in-state components. The proposal caps awards at $10,000 per race and offers no incentives for claiming races.
As the deadline to establish regulations for a $12-million Thoroughbred breed incentive program in Kentucky fast approaches, a debate over the scope of the fund--and whether there could be political fallout--continues.
The board of directors of the Kentucky Equine Education Project has opted to endorse an in-state Thoroughbred breed development program that could eventually offer awards to horses that race out of state or in other countries.
As the 2005 Kentucky General Assembly session nears an end, the horse industry finds itself with a few important benefits--and a sense that it could show a lot of muscle in future legislative endeavors.
A tax modernization plan that includes breed development provisions was approved by the Kentucky House and Senate March 8 and now goes to Gov. Ernie Fletcher for his signature.
A proposal to create breeders' incentive funds and a modification of the tax on yearlings and 2-year-olds was slated for passage March 8 as part Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher's tax modernization and budget package.
Proposals to create breed development programs and modify a tax on the sale of yearlings and 2-year-olds remained intact when the Kentucky House of Representatives approved Gov. Ernie Fletcher's tax modernization plan Feb. 18.
A tax modernization plan unveiled by Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher during his "state of the commonwealth" address Tuesday night includes provisions for breed development programs for the horse industry.
Language that would authorize two breed development funds and eliminate a tax on the sale of yearlings and 2-year-olds in Kentucky has been delivered to Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher for possible inclusion in a tax modernization plan that could be unveiled in early February.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project has fashioned a short list of legislative initiatives that includes tax breaks and a breed development program but not racetrack gaming--at least not yet.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, which hasn't met since the fall of 2003, has been officially reconstituted. The council serves in an advisory capacity to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.
As the Kentucky breeding industry continues to suggest it's under siege from competition in other states, legislation that would shift millions of dollars in existing tax revenue into a Thoroughbred breed development program looms a good possibility for 2005.
Two Kentucky legislators with ties to the horse racing industry indicated Nov. 10 that any effort get workers' compensation insurance for jockeys through the state General Assembly would take plenty of homework and perhaps a lot of time.
Two Central Kentucky legislators who have been active in raising the profile of the horse industry among the state General Assembly retained their seats in the Nov. 2 election.
Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer, vice president of event marketing for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup, was among the representatives of professional and college sports July 23 at a seminar hosted by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
The Kentucky equine industry, for the first time, will be the focus of a September meeting of the state General Assembly's Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, legislators announced July 14.
Prominent owners and breeders in Kentucky are putting together a coalition whose mission will be to educate the public and members of the state legislature on the importance of the horse industry.
The Kentucky Senate March 26 passed three-prong legislation that authorizes creation of an international wagering hub, paves the way for live Quarter Horse racing, and gives Standardbred racetracks a tax break.
An amendment to require the new 13-member Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to have no more than seven members of the same political party isn't expected to thwart Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher's plans, a state senator said March 25.
Legislation to establish the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority and move it under the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet was passed by the state Senate Feb. 24 and sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Republicans have expressed dismay with Gov. Paul Patton's reappointment of eight members and appointment of three new ones to the Kentucky Racing Commission in the final month of his term, and they have called on the commissioners to resign. All but one of the terms expired, some several years ago.
Racing industry officials in Kentucky are taking a wait-and-see approach in the wake of the election of Republican Congressman Ernie Fletcher as governor, but a few said Fletcher's representation of the horse industry in Washington, D.C. bodes well for Kentucky.
Representatives of Kentucky businesses that derive substantial revenue from the horse industry told state legislators Sept. 10 the health of the Thoroughbred breeding industry and their bottom lines are closely linked.
Thoroughbred breeders told Kentucky legislators Aug. 21 the state must step up and offer assistance if its signature industry is to stabilize and grow in years to come.
There's still more than four months until the Kentucky General Assembly meets, but Sen. Damon Thayer has prefiled three bills, two of which are designed to save horse breeders and farmers money.
With an economic impact pegged at about $3.4 billion, the equine industry has been called the most important in Kentucky. Some legislators would like to keep it healthy--even help it grow--but they've acknowledged they don't have all the answers.
Kentucky's equine industry will be the focus June 18 when the recently formed Subcomittee on Horse Farming of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources holds its first meeting.
For the first time in Kentucky history, there will be a legislative subcommittee that will regularly address issues that affect the horse breeding and racing industry in the state.
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