08/31/2005 11:00PM

Split proposed for workers' comp

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A panel formed by Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher to explore ways to improve insurance coverage for jockeys and exercise riders will recommend that tracks, owners, and jockeys each contribute one-third of the cost to a state-administered workers' compensation program.

The cost of the premium for the policy was estimated to be approximately $1.5 million. Of that total, $500,000 would be raised through a $20 per-start fee assessed to owners. An identical amount would be paid by racetracks from their operating budgets, and the final third would be raised by reducing the percentage awarded to jockeys from the winning purse from 10 percent to 9 percent.

The panel's recommendation will be submitted to the governor and legislature, in the hope that a bill incorporating the plan will be drafted and approved during the 2006 session.