Tuesday, April 23, 2013

INFORMATION ON RECENT BOWIE RACE COURSE TRAINING CENTER LEGISLATION


INFORMATION ON RECENT BOWIE RACE COURSE TRAINING CENTER LEGISLATION

Executive Summary
Current Maryland State law requires the Bowie Race Course Training Facility to operate as a thoroughbred training facility.  Numerous attempts have been made in the past few years to repeal that law, but none have passed.  Current State statute also states that when the facility is no longer required for thoroughbred training, the State will have first right of refusal for the property, followed by the City of Bowie.  The current law will have to be repealed in order to stop thoroughbred training at Bowie, which can not happen until the next legislative session.

Background
1.      Current State statute 11-519 requires Bowie to operate as a thoroughbred training facility.  That statute has not been repealed, although Senator Peters' bill in 2013, and Senator Peters' and Delegates Hubbard’s and Valentino-Smith’s bills in 2011 attempted to do so.  None of those bills repealing the statute have passed.  Under current statute, Bowie will have to continue as a thoroughbred training facility at least through the next legislative session when another attempt to repeal the statute could be introduced.

Statute Text:
“Article - Business Regulation §11–519.
(a) The owner of the Bowie Race Course Training Center shall operate the Center as a thoroughbred training facility to provide more stall space for a race meeting that a licensee holds.
(b) The owner of the Bowie Race Course Training Center is responsible for the cost to improve, maintain, and operate the Center.
(c) As long as the Bowie Race Course Training Center is used for the purpose specified in subsection (a) of this section, the Commission shall have general regulatory jurisdiction over the Center to:
(1) provide enough stalls;
(2) maintain safe operating conditions;
(3) require the owner of the Center to submit an annual operating financial statement; and
(4) order reasonable improvements.”

Stature 11-519 requiring Bowie to operate as a thoroughbred training facility has not been repealed in legislation as of this date.

2.      Below is a summary of the recent proposed legislation to convey the Bowie Race Course Training Center to state, county, and City of Bowie and to repeal the statute to operate Bowie as a Thoroughbred training facility.

2013
Bowie Race Course legislation included in Sen Peters’ original Senate bill SB961 -
 Horse Racing – Special Takeout and Bowie Race Course Training Center
Pertinent language:

“… repealing certain requirements that a certain racing licensee maintain the operation of the Center….

 …BY repealing and reenacting, with amendments, 
Article – Business Regulation
Section 11–514 and 11–519
Annotated Code of Maryland
(2010 Replacement Volume and 2012 Supplement)…
…(4) ON CONVEYANCE, THE CITY OF BOWIE MAY NOT BE REQUIRED TO OPERATE THE BOWIE RACE COURSE TRAINING CENTER AS A THOROUGHBRED TRAINING FACILITY FOR ANY PURPOSE….

(Bowie portion, including 11-519 repeal, removed from SB961in amendment and passed in Senate and House and signed into law April 9, 2013.)

2012
Bowie property conveyance and language referring to required operation included in an amendment to proposed legislation for SB152 -  Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2012 (Amendment attached, not linked- see pages 5 and 6).
Note:  Full SB152 and amendment did not include 11-519 repeal as other legislation had; alternate language in section (4)(ii)1 below.
“(4) (i) A racing licensee of a racetrack location at Laurel Park shall:
1. maintain the operation of the Bowie Training Center;
 2. convey the property associated with the Bowie Training Center as preserved land.
(ii) 1. When the Bowie Training Center is no longer required by the State to be operated as a thoroughbred training facility, the State shall have the right of first refusal as grantee for any conveyance under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
2. The City of Bowie shall have the second right of refusal as grantee for any conveyance under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
3. A grantee under subsubparagraph 1 or 2 of this subparagraph may not be required to operate the Bowie Training Center as a training facility.”

 (Did not pass)

2011
Sen Peters’ 2011 Senate bill SB491 -  Authorizing the owner of the Bowie Race Course Training Center to convey the property associated with the training center to the State, Prince George's County, or the City of Bowie; and providing for the construction of specified provisions of law.” Included repeal of 11-519.
Del Hubbard and Del Valentino-Smith’s 2011 House bill – HB557 -  “Authorizing the owner of the Bowie Race Course Training Center to convey the property associated with the training center to the State as preserved land under Program Open Space.”  Included repeal of 11-519.
(Neither passed)
3.      Current State statute (2011) states when Bowie Training Center is no longer required to be operated as a thoroughbred training facility, the State shall have first right of refusal for conveyance of the property, and the City of Bowie has second right of refusal.  This statute does not repeal 11-519.
Article 9-1A-09 – Article - State Government
§9–1A–09. IN EFFECT
(a) As a condition of eligibility for funding under § 9–1A–29 of this subtitle, a racing licensee shall:
(4) (i) A racing licensee of a racetrack location at Laurel Park shall:
1. maintain the operation of the Bowie Training Center; or
2. convey the property associated with the Bowie Training Center as preserved land.
(ii) 1. When the Bowie Training Center is no longer required by the State to be operated as a thoroughbred training facility, the State shall have the right of first refusal as grantee for any conveyance under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
2. The City of Bowie shall have the second right of refusal as grantee for any conveyance under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
3. A grantee under subsubparagraph 1 or 2 of this subparagraph may not be required to operate the Bowie Training Center as a training facility.

9–1A–09. // EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 2013 PER CHAPTER 412 OF 2011 //
(4) If a video lottery operation license is issued to a racetrack location at Laurel Park, the video lottery operation licensee shall:
(i) maintain the operation of the Bowie Training Center; or
(ii) if State law no longer requires the Bowie Training Center to operate as a training facility, convey the property associated with the Bowie Training Center to the State as preserved land under Program Open Space.” 

4.  Additional information of interest:
-Language in 10-year Agreement
 “…The MTHA has also agreed to a closure of Bowie Training Center on January 1, 2014 in return for a binding commitment to build 300 net new stalls at Laurel Park funded in part by the MTHA to properly accommodate horsemen displaced by the closure.”
And:  “Highlights of the Agreement” - Bowie Training Center -
Legislation and Commission approval to authorize the closing of Bowie is contingent upon the construction of 300 new stalls at Laurel no later than December 31, 2014 and a requirement that Laurel Park and Pimlico remain open for year-round stabling and training at no cost to the horsemen.  Such legislation and Commission approval shall also provide that Bowie may not be closed until completion of the initial 150 stalls.”

Note:  Even if the 150 stalls are completed in 2013, the current statute has not been repealed.   Bowie will be required to operate as a Thoroughbred training facility until a bill is introduced and passed in a legislative session repealing that statute.
-Additional details on the agreement are also included in The Equiery’s blog post:  “Finally, A Happy Christmas for Racing” (Dec. 18, 2012), but no Bowie discussion.

2 comments:

  1. Horserace can also teach the game by offering interactive handicapping lessons. Rather than fret over a steep learning curve, racing needs to teach handicapping skills using all the incredible tools of the internet.

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  2. Bowie will have to continue as a thoroughbred training facility at least through the next legislative session when another attempt to repeal the statute could be introduced. Bowie Maryland


    ReplyDelete