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PA Governance Bill Set For Gov. Wolf

Published: February 12, 2016 2:31 pm ET

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A bill that calls for Pennsylvania’s existing two racing commissions to be dissolved and replaced by a new sole commission that would operate under the Department of Agriculture has passed all legislative hurdles and is poised to be addressed by Governor Tom Wolf.

As an article by Law 360 explains, on Wednesday, February 11, the Pennsylvania Senate voted 48-0 in favour of House Bill 941, which calls for the amendment of state law to allow the change of structure for racing regulation and oversight.

The Law 360 piece states that Sen. Elder Vogel is behind the piece of legislation. The bill will see ‘essential funds’ moved into the State Racing Fund, which, according to Sen. Vogel, will see a multi-million-dollar surplus in just a few years’ time.

As per the article, the bill calls for the new commission to feature a Board that would feature, among others, four Gov. Wolf-appointed members that would represent breeders and horsepeople in the state. The new Board would also feature a Gov. Wolf-appointed veterinarian, along with one member that is appointed by the majority and minority leaders from both of the state’s legislative chambers.

Via statement, Sen. Vogel said that “there has been a tremendous amount of interest and input from a number of parties involved in the racing industry and from the race horse development business,” adding that it has been “a long and involved process as we worked to fine-tune this proposal.”

The article also states that the bill contains language that will see costs associated with drug testing permanently provided from the Race Horse Development Fund.

Sen. Vogel also stated that “the bottom line is that we face the real possibility of losing a multimillion-dollar industry. It was imperative that we take care of the Racing Fund’s current financial instability, but provide for the long-term protection of the racing industry in Pennsylvania.”

(With files from Law 360)

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