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Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association

Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (11/13)


Dear Fellow Horsemen,

Please be advised of these scheduled Illinois General Assembly session dates. ITHA’s legislative affairs team has been attending pre-election fundraisers and meeting with senior leadership throughout the summer and fall. The tracks want to proceed with a veto override and Senate President Cullerton has suggested that he will call SB1849 if our coalition can demonstrate that we have enough votes. It is my belief that we have the votes in the House of Representatives. The Senate, however, has always been dicey. Both slot bills 744 and 1849 barely passed with the required 30, so to get the super majority of 36 is going to be difficult, especially in light of receiving only 3-4 Senate Republican votes. We do believe that the role call has us at 33-34 so these lame duck votes are critical to a successful veto override.

The ITHA legislative team is asking our entire industry to reach out to these lame duck Legislators in the event that any of our membership might reside in their districts or have friends that know them. The message to them is that this gaming bill will save the Illinois breeding industry and will benefit the agricultural industry of Illinois. For Horsemen, SB1849 ends recapture, provides a 40 percent immediate increase in live racing opportunities and gives an effective rate of 20.5 percent, but could be as high as 26.5 percent of slot revenue to purses. This 20.5 percent projection represents the HIGHEST RATES to purses in North America.

As an industry, I cannot tell you how important it is to finally close the deal during this legislative session. Several negative alternatives could take place, but the one that concerns me the most is a rewrite of SB1849. Some of the stakeholders might not be so happy about the early end of recapture; they would like to see it end over a longer period. Purses in Florida and New York receive less than 11 percent of slot revenue going to purses. Kentucky’s proposed gaming bill will have horsemen receiving 12.75 percent of slot revenue going to purses. It is also possible but not likely that Chicago might get its casino but the racing industry would be left out entirely.

There has been some recent misinformation regarding ADW (internet gaming revenue) to purses. The purse account through ADW platforms (Twinspires, Xpressbet) amounts to $1.5 million, which is distributed to Arlington and Hawthorne purses. ADW commissions to Thoroughbred purses are a huge growth area, but ITHA views the existing statute as seriously short changing the purse account. ITHA is presently engaged in a rewrite of this bill which sunsets on 1/1/13.

This new ADW bill will most likely allow for the horsemen to receive commissions off the TOP of handle. The current distribution formula of ADW first deducts expenses, marketing etc., and then splits with the ADW platform, next the host track and finally our horsemen’s purse account. The Arlington purse account receives approximately 25 percent on the Twin Spires ADW platform, and the Hawthorne purse account receives approximately 33 percent on the Express Bet ADW platform.

No longer can our respective organizations sit on the sidelines and expect the tracks to write legislation that does not include what is in the best interest of the horsemen, breeders and our purse account. It is time to Close the Deal!

It will require ALL Thoroughbred and Standardbred Horsemen, (Breeders, Owners and Trainers) to do what you can to advance these gaming bills. As ITHA legislative leader I make solemn promise to all stakeholders that the ITHA legislative team will do all it can to pass these bills. I personally welcome and invite ITBOF Board members as well as ITHA Board members who wish to contribute in anyway; whether it is suggestions, or joining the ITHA legislative team during session.

This industry that ALL of us care about with such conviction cannot be denied as long as Illinois horsemen remain united. We are all in this together and I ask all of you wonderful and dedicated horsemen to stand unified with clear determination to support the conclusion of our long struggle to proliferate the Illinois Racing and Breeding Industry.

Serving the Finest People We Know,
The Horsemen of Illinois

Sincerely Yours,
Michael B. Campbell
President of ITHA

There are now 25 lame duck House members…
Jason Barickman (Senate)
Daniel Biss (Senate)
Dena M. Carli
Franco Coladipietro (retiring)
Sandy Cole (defeated by Yingling)
Michael G. Connelly (Senate)
William Cunningham (Senate)
Kimberly du Buclet
Lisa M. Dugan (retiring)
Paul Evans (lost in primary)
Kent Gaffney (lost in primary)
Charles W. Krezwick
Joseph M. Lyons (retiring)
Sidney H. Mathias (defeated)
Karen May (retiring)
Jerry L. Mitchell (retiring)
Richard Morthland (defeated)
Rosemary Mulligan (retiring)
Chris Nybo (lost Senate primary)
Scott E. Penny
Randy Ramey, Jr. (lost Senate primary)
Chapin Rose (Senate)
Skip Saviano (defeated)
Eddie Winters
Karen A. Yarbrough (Cook county recorder)

* And 16 lame-duck Senators…
Larry K. Bomke (retiring)
Annazette R. Collins (lost primary)
M. Maggie Crotty (retiring)
Shane Cultra (lost primary)
Susan Garrett (retiring)
Christine J. Johnson (lost primary)
Thomas Johnson (retiring)
John O. Jones (retiring)
Chris Lauzen (Elected to a county post)
Edward D. Maloney (retiring)
James T. Meeks (retiring)
John J. Millner (retiring)
Carole Pankau (lost reelection)
Ron Sandack (moved to House)
Suzi Schmidt (retiring)
Jeffrey M. Schoenberg (retiring)

* Newly elected House members…
#7 Chris Welch
#10 Derrick Smith
#17 Laura Fine
#19 Robert Martwick
#21 Silvana Tabares
#26 Christian Mitchell
#35 Fran Hurley
#42 Jeane Ives
#46 Deborah O’Keefe
#52 David Mc Sweeney
#55 Marty Moylan
#58 Scott Drury
#62 Sam Yingling
#64 Barb Wheeler
#71 Mike Smiddy
#77 Kathleen Willis
#79 Kate Cloonen
#81 Ron Sandack
#89 Stephanie Kifowit
#90 Tom Demmer
#96 Sue Scherer
#98 Natalie Manley
#106 Josh Harms
#108 Charles Meier
#113 Jay Hoffman

* New Senators…
#5 Patricia VanPelt Watkins
#9 Daniel Biss
#15 Napolean Harris
#18 Bill Cunningham
#19 Michael Hastings
#21 Michael Connelly
#23 Thomas Cullerton
#25 Jim Oberweis
#29 Julie Morrison
#31 Melinda Bush
#33 Karen McConnaghay
#34 Steve Stadelman
#48 Andy Manar
#49 Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant
#51 Chapin Rose
#53 Jason Barickman

As a result of the November 6, 2012 general election, the Democrats will, beginning next January, now have veto-proof majorities in both the Illinois House and Senate. The Senate will have a historic 40-19 split in favor of Senate President Cullerton's Democratic caucus, the largest majority in Illinois history. The House super-majority breakdown will be 71-47.

The upcoming 98th General Assembly will have a some new dynamics that will evolve including: (a) interaction between the Governor and Legislature -- now that the Democrats in the Legislature can override any gubernatorial veto; (b) the role (or lack thereof) of the minority parties in both legislative chambers; and (c) the role/responsibility of the majority party to resolve major issues facing the state.

Also, the House Speaker, Michael Madigan, has released the official schedule for the fall veto session and early January "lame duck" session for the Illinois House of Representatives. The first week of the scheduled fall veto session will begin at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, November 27 and end on Thursday, November 29. The second week of the fall veto session will begin at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, December 4 and end on Thursday, December 6.

The early session "lame duck" is scheduled to begin on Thursday, January 3 (no official starting time was identified) and continue through Tuesday, January 8. The 98th General Assembly will be sworn in immediately after the conclusion of the "lame duck" session on Wednesday, January 9 and conduct its first session day (organizational in nature) on Thursday, January 10.

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