02/09/2016 4:19PM

Vote on repealing Texas historical racing rules blocked


An anticipated vote on whether to repeal historical racing rules in Texas never came to fruition at a Tuesday meeting of the state’s racing commission after a temporary restraining order was presented prohibiting a vote.

The 20-day restraining order against the commission was granted to the Texas Greyhound Association by a state judge. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Feb. 18, according to Robert Elrod, a spokesperson for the commission.

The restraining order was presented shortly before Tuesday’s commission meeting began and after an executive session the meeting was adjourned without a vote, said Elrod.

The racing commission is operating on a temporary funding plan that covers its administrative costs through Feb. 29. The state’s racing industry had been facing a potential shutdown Dec. 1 without release of administrative funds from the state’s legislative budget board, but the plan prevented that from happening.

The funding conflict with some state leaders stems from an August vote by the commission not to repeal rules for historical racing it put in place in 2014. The commission’s adoption of those rules was legally challenged by charitable bingo and tribal interests and a judge ruled the agency did not have the jurisdiction to pass historical racing, and that the matter was for the legislature. The decision has been appealed by some racing factions in the state. Historical racing machines have never been operational in Texas.