In my never-ending quest to become the one-stop source for most of your Michigan racing needs, I have added a new page listing contact information for the state’s horsemen’s groups and other important entities. Also listed are links to pages to help locate your representatives in Lansing.
We are approaching an important year in the history of the Michigan racing industry. The industry may be moving under the umbrella of the Gaming Control Board in January, and the summer and fall will likely be spent on the campaign trail to support a slots issue on the November ballot.
With that in mind, it is more important than ever to stay in contact with your horsemen’s groups and congressmen and women in Lansing to let them know how you can help and how you can be helped. Communication is key at a time like this, and the list is a good place to start.
To view the list, click on the “Industry” link at the top of the page or click here.
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.