Tag Archives: Michigan Senate Agriculture Subcommittee

Political action in Lansing

The upcoming week could be an important one for Michigan racing, and not just because Friday is opening day at Pinnacle Race Course.

The Michigan Legislature has two meetings scheduled this week to discuss the state’s ailing horse racing industry and what can be done to salvage the upcoming racing season and beyond.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture will meet Monday morning with members of the racing industry, and I will be in attendance. I am not certain what exactly will be discussed, but I would expect the cut in race dates and the Office of Racing Commissioner’s budget issues will be at the forefront of the conversation. I will have a full report once everything goes down.

On Wednesday, a “Horse Racing Industry Focus Group,” sponsored by Rep. Cindy Denby of Livingston County, will further discuss the challenges facing Michigan racing. The meeting is invitation-only, and I don’t have a seat at the table, but if I get wind of any developments from the discussion, you’ll see it here. 

Just because the meeting is semi-closed does not mean those on the outside can not be heard. The Michigan HBPA encourages interested parties to contact their state representatives, both from the House and Senate, to recommend they attend the discussion. For those planning to contact their congressmen and women, the meeting will be held Wednesday, June 3 at 10:30 a.m. in the Mackinac Room of the House Office Building.

To find your state Senator and his or her contact information, click here.
To find your state Representative and his or her contact information, click here.


Filed under Politics

Michigan owners and breeders need your help

As some of you may have heard, one of the key points of Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s budget proposal for the 2010 fiscal year is significant cuts to the Agriculture sector, including major reductions and reconfiguration of funds in the racing industry.

From a letter sent out to members of the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association:

“The Governor has made a recommendation to reduce the appropriation to the Ag Equine Development by $5,200,000.00 and use the remaining $8,100,000.00 solely for support of equine purses and regulation. What this means to you as an owner or as a breeder, all the incentive programs will be taken away, the owners & breeders awards as well as the Michigan Bred supplement monies.”

To put it simply, no breeder’s awards means breeding in this state becomes financially impossible. No breeders means no Michigan-breds, which will spell the death of racing in this state. This can not be allowed to happen.

Because I am currently working on a 1,500-2,000 word story on this very subject for a class, I am going to abstain from writing at length on the subject so as not to have my professor discover this and cry “self-plagiarism.” 

However, that will not stop me from linking you to others who have written about Gov. Granholm’s proposed cuts.

Andrew at Turf Link has lots of useful information for those looking to learn more about the subject, including a link to the entire budget proposal document. 

Also, be sure to visit the MTOBA website for more information regarding the status of owner and breeder awards.

If you are a Michigan horseman, a friend of one, or operate a business a Michigan horseman frequents, I encourage you to visit the MTOBA website to get more information and download the letters to send to the three Senate Agriculture Subcommittee members asking them to consider the long-term health of racing in this state when making their decisions.

Fans and Horseplayers, if you frequent one of the Michigan racetracks, play one of the state’s tracks over simulcast, or just enjoy watching a Michigan-bred run at your favorite racetrack, I also encourage you to contact the members of the subcommittee and let them know how much Michigan racing means to you.

For those interested in taking action, here are the letters offered from the MTOBA website. If you are not an owner or breeder but would still like to help, the addresses of the subcommittee members are listed at the top of each page.

Cameron Brown – Chair of the Senate Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture

Ron Jelinek – Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture

Martha Scott – Minority Chair of the Senate Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture

For the sake of horse racing in the state of Michigan, I hope the state’s horsemen can count on your support. Thank you for your time.


Filed under Politics