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Category: Legislation & Regulation

News from Capitol Hill

Federal Funding for Equine Therapy? This summer, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to the “Make America Secure Appropriations Act” (H.R. 3219) offered by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), a bill that will increase equine therapy funding for veterans by $5 million during FY2018. However, before the equine therapy provision becomes law, House and Senate lawmakers must convene a “conference” to negotiate final legislation for a vote in both chambers, and present the bill to the President for his signature. Your Help Needed To Keep Guest Worker Program The American Horse Council is urging horse people to advocate...

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URGENT: Harvey, Horses & The AHC Survey

Hurricane Harvey…there are horses drowning…why the heck should we care about filling out yet another survey? Because. Because the horrific footage of Harvey’s biblical flooding and the ongoing rescue efforts of people and animals reminds us that the government, run by and for the people, runs on data – NEEDS data in order to assist, help, provide, DO. In order to gather data, citizens – horse owners – need to engage. It is incumbent upon us, as citizens, to participate in data-gathering projects, such as the American Horse Council’s survey. And the participation of Maryland horse people this year...

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2017 Legislative Wrap Up: What Maryland horsepeople need to know

by Jane Seigler, president of the Maryland Horse Council The 2017 Maryland Legislative session has ended. During the 3 month session, 1,200 bills were introduced in the Senate, and 1,661 in the House, for a total of almost 3,000 bills. Each week during session, MHC legislative committee member Kim Egan Rutter scanned all bills introduced that week, flagging those of interest to the horse industry and the broader equestrian community. During our weekly conference call, we evaluated these new bills, discussed and arrived at our position, and determined our lobbying strategy. During the course of the session, the MHC...

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Racing Rocked Annapolis

By Tom LaMarra (originally published on tharacing.com, the official website for the national Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association). The Maryland racing industry’s efforts to educate lawmakers and present a unified front paid off during the 2017 General Assembly session that ended April 10. The Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act contained several provisions that, had they passed, would have shifted money from the Purse Dedication Account, which is funded by a percentage of video lottery terminal revenue at the state’s six casinos. On the table was a recommendation for the industry, not the state, to pay about $2.5 million for Maryland Racing...

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The 2017 Maryland Legislative Session enters final phase

Yesterday, March 20, 2017, the first official day of spring, was – in the Maryland legislature – also “Crossover Date.” Crossover date is a big deal! For a bill to pass and become law, it must be approved by both chambers. If a bill fails to “cross over,” it is most probably dead for this session. Please note the equivocation on that: “most probably.” As with every rule, there is an exception: a bill could still be resurrected via “Rules.” But for a bill sponsor to do that, he or she is using up a chit, so they will...

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Mucking for Gold

A bill not likely to pop up on the average horse person’s radar, but one that could have a subtle yet profound impact on the horse industry, is Senate Bill 99 and it cross-filed cousin House Bill 171. With the cumbersome and decidedly non-sexy title of “Environment: Yard Waste, and Food Residuals, and Other Organic Materials Diversion and Infrastructure – Study,” why would any horse person pay attention to this bill? And what does this bill do? In essence, this bill requires the Department of the Environment to consult with certain entities (including the Maryland Horse Council) and to...

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