Relates to horsemen's health insurance.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to horsemen's health insurance
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To increase the percentage of purse payments mandated to be withheld in order to cover horseman's health insurance from 1% to 7%. In addition, this legislation will include Westchester and Nassau Counties under these provisions.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Sections 1 & 2: Amends subparagraph iv of paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 318 of the Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law to increase the percentage of purse payments mandated to be withheld in order to cover horseman's health insurance from 1% to 7% and to include Westchester and Nassau Counties under these provisions.
Section 3: Effective date
JUSTIFICATION: Under current law, health insurance costs for horsemen are covered under contract with management but in certain situations horsemen are racing for an extended period without a contract. Section 318(1)(b)(iv) of the State racing law mandates that one percent (1%) of purse payments be withheld to cover health insurance. However, the law governing this was enacted in 1992 when health insurance costs were less expensive; therefore the withholding one percent (1%) of purse payments for horseman's health insurance is inadequate to cover current health insurance costs, which is why this legislation increases the amount to seven percent (7%).
Additionally, this legislation will amend the current law to include racetracks in Westchester' and Nassau Counties from these provisions. It should be noted that neither of these proposed changes impact the tracks, as the funds being withheld are solely from the horseman's own purse money.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7796 IN SENATE June 10, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. BONACIC -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wager- ing AN ACT to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to horsemen's health insurance THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subparagraph (iv) of paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 318 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, as added by chapter 281 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows: (iv) The state
[racing and wagering board]GAMING COMMISSION shall as a condition of racing require an association [authorized to operate in areas other than Westchester or Nassau county]to withhold [one]SEVEN percent of all [purses]PURSE FUNDS FROM ALL SOURCES and to pay such sum to the horsemen's organization representing the owners and trainers utilizing the facilities of such association which had a contract with the association governing the conditions of racing on January first, nineteen hundred ninety-two, as determined by the board. S 2. Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph a of subdivision 1 of section 318 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, as amended by chapter 281 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows: (ii) except as otherwise provided in this paragraph an amount equal to six and eight-tenths per centum of the total pool resulting from on-track regular bets, an amount equal to seven and ninety-five one hundredths per centum of the total pool resulting from on-track multiple bets, an amount equal to ten and one-half per centum of the total pool resulting from on-track exotic bets, an amount equal to fifteen and one-half per centum of the total daily pool resulting from on-track super exotic bets shall be used exclusively for purses, of which an amount of not less than ninety per centum shall be used exclusively for purses for overnight races conducted by such association or corporation. Such amounts may be reduced upon an application approved by the [board]COMMISSION and an agreement between the licensed harness racing corpo- ration or association and the representative horsemen's organization asEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15489-01-4 S. 7796 2
a condition to reduce the amounts of retained percentages as provided for in this section. However, of the total amount available for purses,
[an amount as determined by contractual obligations between]THE STATE GAMING COMMISSION SHALL AS A CONDITION OF RACING REQUIRE AN ASSOCIATION AUTHORIZED TO OPERATE IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY TO WITHHOLD SEVEN PERCENT OF ALL PURSE FUNDS FROM ALL SOURCES AND TO PAY SUCH SUM TO an organization representing at least fifty-one per centum of the owners and trainers utilizing the facilities of such association or corporation for racing, training or stabling purposes and the association or corporation, shall be used for the administrative purposes of said organization and for such welfare and medical plans for regularly employed backstretch employees principally employed at the facilities of such corporation or association as provided by said organization, provided, however, that eligibility for benefits in such plans shall not be conditioned upon membership in such organization by any employee or employer thereof, and any denial of eligibility for benefits in such plans which, upon inves- tigation and review by the board, is determined to have resulted from a person, firm, association, corporation or organization knowingly aiding in or permitting eligibility for benefits being conditioned upon member- ship in such organization shall subject such organization to the penal- ties imposed under sections three hundred ten and three hundred twenty- one of this article but the ratio between the amounts actually expended for such welfare and medical plans and the cost actually incurred in administering such welfare and medical plans for fiscal years of such corporation or association, on or after July twenty-fourth, nineteen hundred eighty-one, shall not be less than the ratio between such amounts actually expended and such costs actually incurred for the fiscal year immediately prior to such date. Such organization shall annually on or before July first certify to the state [racing and wager- ing board]GAMING COMMISSION that it represents at least fifty-one per centum of such owners and trainers and provide copies of such certif- ication to such association or corporation. Any other organization claiming to represent at least fifty-one per centum of such owners and trainers may file a challenge with the state [racing and wagering board]GAMING COMMISSION within fifteen days of such original certification. The state [racing and wagering board]GAMING COMMISSION shall examine such claim and may undertake studies and conduct hearings to determine the validity of such claim. Within sixty days of receiving such chal- lenge and based upon the findings of such studies and hearings, the state [racing and wagering board]GAMING COMMISSION shall render a deci- sion on the validity of such claim and advise such organizations and association or corporation of its determination. Upon receipt of such original certification by such organization, the association or corpo- ration shall make such payments to said organization and, in the event of a challenge brought to any other organization, such payments shall continue to be made until such time as the state [racing and wagering board]GAMING COMMISSION renders its decision on such challenge; and S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.