Updated on 03/01/2011 8:11PM

Kentucky House passes rules bill

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The Kentucky House passed a bill Monday that would allow Kentucky to join with other states in passing rules that regulate horse racing.

The bill is similar, but not identical, to a bill that passed the Kentucky Senate in February. Because the bills are not identical, the Senate would need to approve the House version of the bill for the legislation to be sent to Gov. Steve Beshear.

Sen. Damon Thayer, who sponsored the bill that passed earlier in the Senate, said on Tuesday evening that he was working with House legislative leaders to reconcile the two bills. Thayer's version of the bill passed out of a House committee separately on Tuesday.

Kentucky's legislature will recess for two weeks on Monday with two days left in the session. Those final two days, however, are generally reserved for actions on any vetoes by the governor, so the final day to pass a bill would be on March 7, Thayer said.

"We'll be working very hard to make sure the compact bill gets out this session," Thayer said.

 

The legislation would allow state racing commissioners to adopt uniform rules by creating a committee comprised of representatives of participating states. Any rule approved by the committee would take effect in all of the participating states, through a state could elect to opt out of any specific rule.

Under federal law, six states would need to pass legislation that would allow for the compact for it to take effect. A state has yet to pass a bill, but the Kentucky bill has advanced further than any other legislation. A handful of states are expected to make serious pushes this year to get bills passed.