02/10/2011 3:53PM

Kentucky Senate approves multistate effort

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The Kentucky Senate late on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that would allow Kentucky to join with other states in passing regulations affecting Thoroughbred racing, according to state legislative records.

The bill was sent to the House, where it is expected to pass. If it is approved, Kentucky would become the first state to authorize the formation of a multistate group whose participants could approve regulations that would become effective in all of the participating states.

The bill had earlier on Wednesday passed out of the State and Local Government Committee. It was sponsored by Sen. Damon Thayer, a Republican who has supported many horse racing causes but who has an uneasy relationship with the racing industry because of his opposition to legislative approval of slot machines at racetracks.

Under federal law, six states would need to pass similar legislation for the compact to become effective. Similar efforts are taking place in several other states, moderated by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, which supports the formation of the compact under the contention that it could lead to streamlined processes to pass uniform rules in racing states.

Supporters of the compact in New York had previously led the way in the effort to pass the first bill, but legislation there failed to pass last year after horsemen raised objections to the legislation.

Under the model compact, each participating racing commission would have a representative on the compact’s board. Any rule passed by the board would immediately take effect in the participating states, though individual participating states could also refuse to adopt the rule.