12/14/2005 12:00AM

Kentucky drug rules advance

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A Kentucky legislative subcommittee approved the state's new raceday medication rules at a meeting on Tuesday, putting the rules one step closer to final enactment.

The rules, which limit raceday medication to the use of the diuretic Lasix and two other anti-bleeding drugs, were approved by the General Assembly's Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee, part of the Legislative Research Commission. The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority had approved the rules on Nov. 14.

The rules will now be sent to the Licensing and Occupations Committee for final approval, according to Mark York, the deputy secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, which oversees the racing authority. That committee will likely take up the rules in January.

If the rules are passed by the committee, they will be sent to Gov. Ernie Fletcher for his signature.

York said it is possible that the licensing committee will call representatives of the state's racing authority and the environmental cabinet to testify before approving the rules, which were opposed by the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

The rules approved on Tuesday did not include new regulations on penalties for medication violations, according to York and Jim Gallagher, the executive director of the racing authority. The penalty phase of the rules will be taken up by the administrative regulation subcommittee in January, York said. Both sets of rules are expected to be formally in place by the first week of February.