Paul Tonko

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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The Week in Review: With the Integrity Act, Compromise is in the Eye of the Proposer

Three versions of proposed federal legislation known as the Horseracing Integrity Act have been introduced in the United States Congress over the past five years, and only twice has the bill advanced as far as the subcommittee hearing level, like it did last Tuesday. Whether you're for or against HB 1754, which would mandate an independent anti-doping and medication control program in our sport, if you're called as a witness, it's crucial to tailor your arguments as concisely as possible. That's because legislators hearing testimony in the Subcommittee on Consumer...

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Horse Racing Integrity Act Moving Through the House

The Consumer Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a major hearing today on the Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA) that brought together horse racing industry heavy weights and representatives from two major animal welfare groups to advocate for passage. Congressman Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) spoke at a hearing Tuesday in support of H.R. 1754: the Horseracing Integrity Act, legislation that would establish a non-governmental anti-doping authority responsible for implementing a national, uniform medication program throughout the sport. Tonko introduced the bill last year with fellow Congressional Horse Caucus...

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Horseracing Integrity Act Reaches Majority Milestone in House

The Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754), introduced last year by Congressional Horse Caucus co-chairs Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY), has officially received formal endorsement by a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives, with 226 Members now cosponsoring the legislation. The bipartisan bill authorizes creation of a non-governmental anti-doping authority governed by representatives of all major constituencies of the industry and responsible for implementing a national, uniform medication program throughout the sport. "After years working side by side with my friend Congressman Andy Barr to move this...

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