While none of the 5 bills relating to the horse industry were passed, it would be most unusual for any bill presented for the first time to get out of Committee, much less be passed into law.
Each session, there are thousands of bills filed and hundreds die for various reasons, including running out of time.
We do believe that great strides were made in this session, particularly in the Senate, where 2 of the 3 bills passed. Great thought was put into drafting creative initiatives that would benefit not only the horse industry, but worthy charitable organizations, veterans, peace officers and firefighters.
We all need to continue to persevere in the time available before the 2019 legislative session, and getting to know our personal legislators is imperative. That is the only way to get horse industry issues on their radar screen.
If your Senator or Representative supported these bills, write a letter to thank them and ask for their future support. If they did not, respectfully ask why, and explain how the bills would have been of benefit to you – the constituent. Contact them on a regular basis, so you have the opportunity to develop a positive relationship that will provide the means for educating them about an industry that may be unfamiliar to them. Invite them to visit your farm or go with you to the races. Let’s do all we can to help our industry and livelihoods.
Following is a recap of the bills and the stages each reached:
SB 1971 (Dawn Buckingham, Lois Kolkhorst), which would have provided means to increase purse and ATB funds, passed in the Senate on May 16 and was referred to the House Appropriations Committee on May 18, but did not get a hearing.
SB 1972 (Kolkhorst, John Kuempel), which would have removed the ATB funds from the TRC budget, also passed in the Senate of May 16, was referred to the House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee on May 18, passed out of that Committee on May 19, went to Calendars, but was never set for debate on the House floor.
SB 1973 (Kolkhorst), which would have changed the sources of funding for the TRC was left pending in the Senate Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs Committee.
HB 3925 (Kuempel), which would have provided for Advance Deposit Wagering, was left pending in the House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee.
HB 3926 (Kuempel, Charlie Geren, Tracy King, Lyle Larson, Senfronia Thompson), the Purpose Driven Pari-Mutuel bill, passed out of the House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee and went to Calendars, but was never set for debate on the House floor.