Albany wrap, plus session-end report on NYTB legislative agenda

Friday, July 6th, 2012
by Sarah Mace

During the recently concluded legislative session in Albany several industry-related developments made headlines, topped by the agreement between Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYRA to establish a Reorganization Board which, in effect, places NYRA under temporary public control. At the same time, several issues relevant to breeders took place more quietly in the background, including the successful achievement of several of NYTB’s 2012 legislative goals.

The most far-reaching items of industry legislation enacted during the past session were (1) initiation of the NYRA Reconstitution Board, (2) merger of the Division of the Lottery and the Racing and Wagering Board into the New York State Gaming Commission, and (3) a constitutional amendment on casinos.

  • NYRA Reconstitution Board. The state will operate NYRA for the next three years. The new NYRA board will consist of 17 members. Eight (including the Chair) will be appointed by the Governor, five will be appointed by the current NYRA board and two each will be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and President (Majority Leader) of the Senate. This bill also delays implementation of the State Gaming Commission (see next) until February 1, 2013 from October 1, 2012.
  • New York State Gaming Commission. This new commission, consisting of four divisions (Lottery; Charitable Gaming; Gaming; and Horse Racing and Wagering) will be comprised of seven members: five appointed by the Governor, and one each by the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker, all subject to Senate confirmation. The Commission will be led by an Executive Director (appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the Senate) and by the Directors of the divisions listed above.
  • Constitutional Amendment on Casinos. This bill allows for the operation of up to seven casinos in New York State.  It requires second passage by the next duly elected Legislature during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session and, if passed by the Legislature, will be up to the voters to approve via referendum on the next Election Day.

On a more “nuts and bolts” level, two of NYTB’s main legislative initiatives passed both Senate and Assembly during the session.

  • “Fund Cap Extender Bill” (A.10295 Pretlow / S. 7050 Bonacic). This bill extends for one year existing provisions that were scheduled to sunset on October 28, 2012. The most important provisions are: (1) the requirement that statutory payments to the New York Breeding and Development Fund (the Fund) be made on a quarterly basis, and (2) permission for the Fund to maintain the increased percentage (65%) on the cap on Breeders’ Awards.
  • “Stallion Bill” (A. 9392 Pretlow / S.7125 McDonald). This new bill amends the definition of “New York stallion,” reducing the minimum stallion lease period from two years to one.  The expectation is that the bill will increase the number and quality of stallions standing in New York.

These bills will be forwarded to the Governor at some point in 2012 for approval or veto.

Two of NYTB’s bills progressed in both houses, but were not voted on in this past session. When legislators return in the fall, NYTB will work to move both forward.

  • “Purse Enrichment Bill” (A.10514 Pretlow / S.7390 McDonald). This bill would clarify the existing purse enrichment allocation percentages to tracks, and the incentives that can be awarded to New York-breds regardless of the type of race (open or restricted). It passed the Assembly.
  • “Carryover Bill” (A.9778 Pretlow / S.7171 McDonald). This bill would permit the Fund to carry a balance over from one year the next greater than the current limit of $75,000. It found sponsors in both houses (A.9778 Pretlow / S.7171 McDonald).

One Response to “Albany wrap, plus session-end report on NYTB legislative agenda”

  1. rick baldwin says:

    Interesting & I am very glad that the NYTB made it public.

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