Andy Barr

Vaccarezza Organizes Fundraiser for Tornado Victims

A fundraising event to help benefit the families affected by last weekend's devastating Western Kentucky tornado will take place at Frank & Dino's restaurant in Lexington on Sunday, Jan. 2. Complimentary food and drinks will be served between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the popular Italian eatery. WLKY reported Thursday that 16 people, down from a high of 122, are still missing and that the death toll has risen to 76 Kentuckians. More than 1,000 homes and buildings have been destroyed and there are approximately still 3,000 power outages....

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Legislation Introduced to Ease Tax Burden

U.S. Congressman Andy Barr, a Kentucky Republican who represents Lexington, has reintroduced the Equine Tax Fairness Act, which, if passed would make changes to the tax laws favorable to horse owners and breeders, it was announced by his office Wednesday. The bill calls for new regulations that would make the three-year depreciation schedule permanent for racehorses, no matter their age when put into service. Currently, Congress must reauthorize this provision in the tax law on an annual basis. The legislation would also reduce the holding period for equine assets to...

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Congressmen File Amicus Brief In Support of HISA

The lead congressional sponsors of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), have filed a 14-page amicus ('friend of the court') brief in response to a lawsuit filed by the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and some of its affiliates, challenging its constitutionality. The brief lays out the reasons why HISA is necessary to protect and preserve the future of horse racing, deliberations in Congress over the course of several years that included input from all...

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Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act Advances in Congress

The $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill that was expected to pass Monday includes a provision that calls for the passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. With the omnibus spending bill having received bipartisan support and with President Donald J. Trump expected to sign it, the legislation that would bring sweeping change to how the sport is regulated and policed appears to have cleared its final hurdle. Congressional leaders announced Sunday night that they had reached a deal on the stimulus package that included the horse racing act. It...

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Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Passes House

By a unanimous Sep. 29 voice vote, the United States House of Representatives passed a years-in-the-making bill that, if eventually signed into law, will develop and implement anti-doping, medication control, drug testing, and racetrack safety standard programs enforced by an independent authority whose powers would supersede the long-standing state-by-state regulation of the sport. HR 1754, which has existed in various proposed forms since 2015 and was amended Sep. 9 to match the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) companion legislation that got introduced in the U.S. Senate that same day,...

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House Version of Integrity Act Amended and Advanced

Several hours after the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) got introduced in the United States Senate on Wednesday, the co-sponsor of the existing Horseracing Integrity Act (HRIA) proposed striking all of the language of his existing bill and replacing it with the exact wording from the new Senate bill to create companion legislation that now reads the same in both branches of Congress. In a video conference mark-up session of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, this newly amended version of the federal bill was then reported to...

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McConnell Introduces Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in U.S. Senate

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) introduced the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Wednesday to help set national standards to promote fairness, increase safety, and help preserve Thoroughbred racing. At a press conference last week in Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World, Senator McConnell joined U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) and leading Kentucky stakeholders, including Keeneland, Churchill Downs Incorporated, Breeders' Cup Limited, and the Jockey Club in announcing the introduction of the bill. They also...

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NTRA Votes to Support HISA

The Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has voted to support passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (HISA). The action was taken Wednesday afternoon at a special meeting of the Board of the Directors. The HISA will improve the integrity and safety of Thoroughbred racing by requiring uniform safety and performance standards, including an anti-doping and medication control program and a racetrack safety program to be developed and enforced by an independent Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. "We thank Senate Majority Leader...

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HBPA 'Never Consulted' on New Version of Integrity Act

Six hours after an Aug. 31 press conference at which United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other proponents of a federal bill announced newly achieved compromise among industry stakeholders in crafting new anti-doping oversight for horse racing, Eric Hamelback, the CEO of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), told TDN that his organization is actually not on board with the plan. Hamelback's emailed clarification was in response to a request for comment from TDN that did not arrive in time to be included in the...

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Op/Ed: A Critical Step Forward for the Sport

When 27 individuals were indicted in March by federal authorities for their alleged involvement in a wide-spread doping scheme the story was about more than Jason Servis or Jorge Navarro or the cocktails of performance-enhancing drugs they were charged with using on their horses. It was about a system that was so hopelessly broken and incapable of effectively policing the sport that it took the federal government to come in and do what racing had continually failed to do--take meaningful steps to clean up the game. There had to be...

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Officials Announce the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority; Horseracing Integrity Act to Be Introduced in Senate

Backed by the political clout of United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), proponents of a federal bill mandating an independent anti-doping and medication control program for horse racing announced at an Aug. 31 press conference at Keeneland that a retooled version of the framework of legislation that has existed since 2015 will be introduced in the Senate in September by McConnell himself. Backers of the bill spoke Monday of newfound compromise and consensus among the sport's stakeholders that they said would help to usher the Horseracing Integrity and...

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Carol Barr, wife of Congressman Andy Barr, Dies at 39

The wife of Congressman Andy Barr, who represents Lexington, died Tuesday. Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr was just 39. She died of mitral valve prolapse, a condition where the two valve flaps which make up the mitral valve do not close properly. "Congressman Andy Barr's wife Carol passed away suddenly tonight at the family home in Lexington," Mary Rosado, the congressman's chief of staff, said in a statement Tuesday night. "During this tragic time, we respectfully ask for privacy for Congressman Barr and his family to grieve Mrs. Barr being called...

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