WASHINGTON D.C. — Congressman Paul Tonko’s bipartisan national horse racing reform bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives Sept. 29.
The bill - the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act – would designate the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to design and implement uniform national horse racing medication and racetrack safety standards.
“After nearly six years working to advance this bipartisan legislation to modernize horseracing in the United States, we are at long last rounding the final turn,” Tonko, a Democrat who represents the 20th District, said in a statement.
“(The) Act puts the health and well-being of our equine athletes and jockeys firmly at the center of the sport, and delivers commonsense medication and track safety standards that will lift this noble sport to higher standards of integrity and safety. These long overdue reforms will help restore public trust in the sport and put it on a path to a long and vital future, supporting countless jobs and driving economic activity in communities across our nation,” Tonko said.
The Act was co-sponsored by Republican Congressman Andy Barr of Kentucky, and the bi-partisan vote garnered the support of 21st District Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville).
“The passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in the U.S. House of Representatives paves the way for a uniform, national approach to medication control and anti-doping across the sport. Thanks to Rep. Paul Tonko and Rep. Andy Barr today’s bi-partisan vote leaves no doubt as to the importance of this legislation in securing the future of horse racing in the United States,” said New York Racing Association President and CEO Dave O’Rourke. “NYRA urges the U.S. Senate to quickly consider and pass the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.”
The bill approved by the House also has companion Senate legislation introduced recently by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).