SB 2877 (Video Gaming Terminals at tracks) was heard this morning and it passed out of committee on a 7-2 vote.
Now the lobbyists and the bill sponsor will work all legislators to see if they can muster the votes to pass on the floor. If they feel they have the votes it will be called to the floor in the house, we would need 60 yes votes there. If by chance it would pass the house it would then go back to the Senate for a vote and we would need 30 votes there.
We must now wait to see where we are, most likely nothing more will happen today, probably tomorrow or Weds. The second anything happens I will let all know.
Still allot to do and a long way to go, but as of this moment we are still in the game !!!
Attention !!! Attention !!!! Attention !!!
Legislative Update !!!
As everyone knows we have been trying to pass some type of gaming bill for years in order to keep Fairmount Racing going. Folks this may be the final curtain call, without some type of gaming revenue this may be the last season of racing at Fairmount as we know it. We need EVERYONE to help, at this time we ask you to share this post with everyone on the planet and make it go as viral as possible, we need everyone in the state and anywhere else in the country to help us get our legislation passed. We need to let the legislators know that there are thousands of people in this state who want gaming at Fairmount and who want racing to continue.
We need EVERYONE who see’s this post to follow the directions below and file a witness slip with the legislators in SUPPORT of either of our gaming bills.
We currently have 2 bills in the legislature that will be called to committee this Monday morning at 9:00 a.m., the first is SB 7 which is the big gaming bill, the second is HB 2877 which would allow Video Gaming Terminals at Fairmount (the same machines as all the bars have). We would like to have the big gaming bill, but we can live with the VGT’s, so PLEASE follow the directions below and file a witness slip in SUPPORT of both bills.
Folks, this is our last shot at this for the year, we MUST get their attention NOW. Please help us get the job DONE !!!
If EVERYONE who reads this files a witness slip in support of our bills, WE HAVE A CHANCE !!!
If you follow the directions below you should be able to get it done, I think I have it all correct, it is kind of complicated but once your in their system you can figure it out if you work at it a bit.
1. Go to http://www.ilga.gov/
2. Under Reports & Inquiry you will see in red, GA Dashboard, click that.
3. You will now be on ILGA Dashboard Page, on left side of page you will click REGISTER.
4. Fill out info on create new account page, just your e-mail address and password is all they request, accept terms and click register.
5. You will then be sent an email for verification, open your e-mail, click the link to verify, it will then take you to page that says you are verified, click log on.
6. You will now be on the witness slip page, on left side of page click HOUSE, from the drop down menu click Committee Hearings, under Scheduled House Committee Hearings click week, then scroll down to 5/29/2017 hearings and find Gaming Subcommittee which is scheduled at 9:01 AM in Room 118, move your pointer to right side of page and hold over box (it will say view hearing details, click it.) it will take you to hearings for that committee, you will see the first hearing is HB 2877 Jay Hoffmann Video Gaming-Tracks/OTB, to the right you will see 2 boxes, hold your pointer over second box and it will say create witness slip, click that. Now fill out the details, name, address etc., in space where it says Firm, Business or agency leave blank, Section II where is says representing put SELF. Section III. Click on PROPONENT, next line click on Record of Appearance only, then click CREATE WITNESS SLIP. Do exactly the same for SB 7, Rita Mayfield Gaming Various. Your Done !!!
Illinois Senators Back Slots-At-Tracks Bill and Illinois Racing Board Plan to Share $500,000 for Purse Awards
State Government Impasse Continues
The Illinois Senate on Wednesday again backed gaming expansion legislation that would permit slots at tracks for the purpose of enhancing purses.
If this legislation is approved and signed into law, Illinois racing will again compete with tracks in Indiana, Iowa, Ohio and other states already using gaming revenue to boost purses. The bill includes horsemen priorities:
• Favorable rates (from gaming positions hosted at the track) to support purses.
• Guaranteed minimum live racing opportunities (to prevent the tracks from diminishing racing to instead become solely casino operations – with no live racing).
• Immediate elimination of recapture, the woeful practice of tracks taking horsemen’s purse dollars to subsidize their own operations. (Since 1995, when recapture began, the Illinois Racing Board has permitted tracks to deplete thoroughbred and standardbred purse accounts by more than $200 million. In this year alone, the IRB has agreed to allow tracks to take $11 million in horsemen’s purse money.)
Senators voted 33-24, with one member voting present, in favor of the bill, known as Senate Bill 7. The Senate previously voted in favor of the same proposal but that version of the bill was tied to approximately a dozen other bills formulated as a “grand bargain” intended to break the Illinois government’s ongoing impasse over the lack of a budget and related matters. The amended bill approved on Wednesday is technically disconnected from the other bills in that package; its fate is now no longer contingent on whether they also are approved.
Still, caution is in order. The stalemate between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats – now approaching its third year – is ongoing. While bipartisan talks appear to be accelerating at the Capitol, it remains to be seen when the governor and lawmakers of both the Senate and House might reach agreement on a comprehensive budget, the final terms of gaming legislation, or related matters. The spring legislative session is scheduled to end May 31.
Speaking to WBBM radio in Chicago, Gov. Rauner indicated he might support the gaming legislation, which also would authorize casino licenses for Chicago and other locations within the state, if it’s part of an overall “grand bargain” package. “I believe new revenues through the casino are part of that grand bargain, and I’ve said I’m open to whatever package can move the needle to a balanced budget, and I’ve said I’m open to local control. So the answer is, if that came as part of a package, I could be supportive of that,” he said, according to WBBM.
On Thursday, the Illinois House assigned SB 7 to its Executive Committee for consideration.
Senators Back IRB Plan to Share Pari-Mutuel Tax Dollars with Purse Awards
Senators on Wednesday also advanced a measure that, if approved by the House and signed into law, would allow the Illinois Racing Board to transfer $500,000 from its own budget into purses. The proposal is the culmination of months of discussion between the state’s three horsemen’s associations – ITHA, IHHA, ILHBPA – and IRB officials concerning the most appropriate terms for transferring any dollars from the IRB to purses.
As included in budget legislation known as Senate Bill 6, the plan reflects our desired language and makes clear that funds sent to the purse account may “be used exclusively for making purse awards.” This will prevent pari-mutuel tax money from going to the tracks as part of “recapture” or to support the horsemen’s associations. Moreover, the agreed language is crafted to ensure the IRB will not, by virtue of transferring pari-mutuel tax dollars from its own budget to purses, expand its regulatory authority.
Illinois horsemen welcome the prospect of a small one-time boost for underfunded purses in our state. However, the legislation does not specifically require that these additional funds be dedicated to Illinois bred-restricted races. The horsemen’s groups earlier this spring urged the IRB to ensure that any such dollars from its budget are used to bolster purses for those Illinois races – thereby supporting Illinois breeders and Illinois jobs – but track operators strongly objected to that approach and the IRB stopped short of offering any commitment in this regard. (Arlington increasingly has pumped purse dollars into stakes races, which by and large benefit out-of-state or even out-of-country interests, to the detriment of Illinois horsemen and breeders.)
The Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation also urged the IRB to focus, first and foremost, on using these funds to support Illinois bred-restricted races.
Should the IRB’s proposal ultimately be implemented, the IRB plans to allocate $500,000 to purses as follows: $259,662 for Arlington, $82,457 for thoroughbred races at Hawthorne, $37,475 for Fairmount Park, and $120,406 for harness races at Hawthorne. The Senate narrowly approved SB 6 on a 31-21 roll call, with three members voting present. Following the Senate vote on SB 6, the Senate sponsor put a parliamentary hold on the bill to prevent it from traveling to the House for consideration. It is not clear when the hold might be removed.
While progress continues, there remains much to be done, we will continue to work and do our best, as things move forward we will report here, stay tuned !!!
NEW TRAINING HOURS effective immediately are 6:30 am til 11:00 am. Monday through Saturday.
The Horsemen’s annual golf tournament has been scheduled for June 21st, 4 man scramble starting at 10:00 A.M., Arlington Golf Course. The cost is $ 30.00 per man or $ 120.00 per team, includes food, drink and skins. The sign up board is in the HBPA office, please sign up early.
The Doctor will be here this Friday, May 5th between 10 AM and 2 PM. If you need to see the Doctor it would be best if you came in prior to Friday to complete the necessary paperwork. Please go to the RICF Trailer directly behind the license office, you will need to present a current IRB license, this office is open Tuesday through Friday every week.