The Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday to partially restore funding to the state’s racing industry, including $2.5 million to the Office of Racing Commissioner.
The bill will next be put before the Senate where, if approved, it will likely do away with the announced statewide halt on live and simulcast racing on Nov. 5.
The deadline was announced following Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s veto of a previous bill to fund the ORC through licensing fees from the three non-tribal casinos in Detroit. In the current bill, the funding will come from the Ag Equine Fund, supported by a 3.5% tax on simulcast wagering and other racetrack-related income. The Associated Press reports Granholm supports the change.
Other items restored by the bill include $3.9 million to industry programs such as purse supplements, Sire Stakes purses and breeders’ awards. An additional $989,500 was allotted to “Horse Racing and Producer Security”, which supports the grain elevator industry and its suppliers.
HB 4288 passed by a margin of 105-1. For more information on the vote, click here.
According to the Michigan HBPA website, the Senate will have its first opportunity to act on the bill on Nov. 3, following a required five-day period between chamber actions.
For analysis of the bill from the House Fiscal Agency, click here.
For more information on HB 4288 and to track its progress through Lansing, the bill’s webpage can be found here.