IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE UPDATE Posted On:May 27, 2011 | Posted By:Glen
Michael B. Campbell, President Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Assoication
Dear Fellow Horsemen,
It is always important to remember that at this time of the year in Springfield, things can change fast. This means that as soon as I send you this status report of our legislation, it can be "old News". With that being said, I want to update you with where we are as of Thursday evening, May 26th.
Late yesterday afternoon, as reported earlier, an amendment was added to Senate Bill 744, which became the bill. Included in this over 400 page amendment includes slots at race tracks, as well as five casinos (Park City, South Suburban, Danville, Rockford and Chicago). In addition, a new provision was included allowing 900 slots and Standardbred horse racing at the state Fairgrounds in Springfield for 3-9 months.
Initially, Thoroughbred horsemen would receive no benefit from this Harness horse meet held at Springfield. However, negotiations between our IHHA friends and ITHA resulted in a revenue sharing plan that will benefit Thoroughbred purses both in Southern Illinois and the Cook County tracks.
A lengthy hearing was held in the House Executive Committee. House Bill 744 as an amended bill did not pass out of the committee on a vote of 5 to 6. Arlington Park opposed the bill in its current form regarding a requirement dealing with the Union. I have just been informed by Arlington Part that negotiations have just concluded with a favorable outcome which will bring Arlington Park on board and give us Union support that will be necessary to pass the bill.
The deadline for adjournment is Tuesday, May 31, 2011. We hope to have the bill called as early as tomorrow.
The ITHA is still asking our membership to call their legislators in Springfield to tell them how vital this bill is to our industry. The casino boat interest is lobbying strongly against us. Your phone calls are more important than ever. Check back to the ITHA web site for accurate up-to-date breaking news at itharacing.com!!
Representing the finest horsemen I know, the horsemen of Illinois,
Michael B. Campbell
President Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association