House Bill 2303, which went into effect in February of this year, included language which mistakenly changed how breeders' awards in the state of Pennsylvania were awarded. As a result, breeders in the state have not gotten any awards since that date. An amendment to correct the Breeder distribution wording was agreed to and unanimously passed in the House yesterday 180-0. This amendment is now part of House Bill 2303; it will go before the House for a final vote on the House's next session day, October 17th.
The Senate Agricultural Committee should receive the bill from the House on October 17th or 18th; they have informed the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders' Association that they will do everything they can to expedite it. The PHBA expects, therefore, that HB 2303 would be approved and on the Governor's desk for signing the week of October 24th.
The Pennsylvania Racing Commission has agreed to do as much preparation as possible, including to input the awards into its system so that they can be quickly transferred to the Treasury Department for distribution once House Bill 2303 becomes law.
All awards will be paid retroactively, according to the traditional program, from February 23rd. Non-PA-Sired horses will again be eligible for all program awards and benefits. As of January 1, 2017, however, the PA-Sired Breeder Award will increase from 30% to 40%. Further, if at any time the Breeder Fund should receive additional funds over a certain threshold, 50% of that money would be used for races for PA-Sired horses.
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