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Kentucky State Senate resolution urges federal payment for horseracing integrity and safety costs

L to R- Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer and Senate President Robert Stivers
Stu Johnson
L to R- Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer and Senate President Robert Stivers

In one of his final actions as Senate Majority Floor Leader, Damon Thayer attained voice-vote support for a resolution pertaining to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. It’s HISA that oversees national integrity and safety rules for Thoroughbred racing. Thayer’s resolution calls on Congress to pay all of HISA-related costs.

“But, it always comes back to the states paying for federal regulation. I think that’s wrong. And this resolution will go to every member of our congressional delegation, urging them for federal funding for HISA. They should put it in the federal budget,” said Thayer.

The GOP senator from Georgetown said it’s about $80 million overall annually. Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director Chauncy Morris said Kentucky’s share is just under $8 million. He noted those dollars come from Kentucky tracks and out of racing purses. A state resolution, unlike bills, doesn’t carry the weight of law.

As to the implementation of HISA responsibilities, Thayer believes it has been lacking.

“No it’s not working particularly well. They keep cracking down on innocent people. And there’s a lot of due process and a lot of transparency in how they spend the 80 million dollar budget that they have,” said Thayer.

A resolution, in this form, is regarded as a means to express an opinion about an issue. The resolution passed by a voice vote on the final night of the 2024 General Assembly session.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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