Good news from the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association website:
Your efforts have helped a great deal! Our bill has changed to HB4311 and has passed the Senate! As of 2:37 p.m. the bill was concurred with in the House. It now moves to the Governor for her signature. We have been notified that the Governor intends to sign this bill the morning of 11/6/09. The ORC office was contacted this afternoon by the Governor’s office and instructed to report for work tomorrow, 11/6/09.
Prior to the Legislature’s rapid action to approve the funding, all live and simulcast racing in the state of Michigan was scheduled to shut down indefinitely at midnight tonight.
HB4311 was initially a bill to fund correctional services, scholarships and election reform projects. It appears the racing-related items were added on along with funding for community health programs, wetland protection and can & bottle return fraud protection.
The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 32-2 with with three abstentions. It then went back to the House where it was approved by a 91-12 margin with seven not voting. Click the links to see the roll call votes from each chamber.
In the midst of the shift over to the new bill, the Senate also modified the amount of funding to the three racing-related line items. The Office of Racing Commissioner and Producer Security (Grain Elevators) line items saw a decrease, while the Horse Racing Indusrty Programs line saw increased funds.
For a spreadsheet detailing the changes in funding between the bills, click here.
For more information on HB4311, click here.