08/12/2004 11:00PM

New York bills not acted on


The New York legislature left the state capital on Thursday after passing a long-stalled budget but without addressing several racing bills.

One of the bills would have consolidated all of the regulatory functions of New York's increasingly varied gambling industry under one commission, a plan that would have eliminated the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, at least in name. The bill was passed by the Republican-controlled Senate earlier this year but did not find support in the Democratic-controlled Assembly.

"I think the parties aren't ready yet," said Steve Casscles, a member of the staff of Republican Sen. Bill Larkin, who sponsored the gambling bill in the Senate. "We're there, but they're not."

Casscles said that the legislature will meet again in the fall, without budget pressures, but no date has yet been set as to when the bodies will reconvene. The consolidation bill could be taken up by the Assembly then. If the Assembly does not address the bill, it would be dead until 2005, when it would need to be reintroduced.