Bill Introduced in Senate in Response to ELD Mandate

On May 23, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) introduced the ‘‘Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act,” in an effort to insulate the livestock industry from the changes facing the commercial trucking industry.  In it the Secretary of Transportation shall amend the federal regulations to ensure that a driver transporting livestock or insects within a 300 air-mile radius from the point at which the driver begins the trip shall exclude all time spent;

  1. at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper or on any public property during which the driver is waiting to be dispatched;
  2. loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle;
  3. supervising or assisting in the loading or unloading of a commercial motor vehicle;
  4. attending to a commercial motor vehicle while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded;
  5. remaining in readiness to operate a commercial motor vehicle; and
  6. giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded;

Also, the driving time is modified to a maximum of not less than 15, and not more than 18, hours within a 24-hour period, wherein the driver may take 1 or more rest periods during the trip, which shall not be included in the calculation of the driving time. After completion of the trip, the driver shall be required to take a rest break for a period that is 5 hours less than the total driving time (10 hour rest for a 15 hour trip).

Finally, if the driver is within 150 air-miles of the point of delivery, any additional driving to that point of delivery shall not be included in the calculation of the driving time; and the 10-hour rest period that currently exists shall not apply prior to unloading.

The American Horse Council will continue to work to limit unnecessary regulatory burden on the horse industry while encouraging legislation that protects the health, welfare and safety of America’s horses and drivers.

Please contact Cliff Williamson at the American Horse Council with any questions.

Sens. Crapo (R-ID), Warner (D-VA) Lead Bi-Partisan PAST Act of 2018

On Thursday, May 24,  Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2018 (S. 2957), legislation which is identical to the House companion, H.R. 1847, championed by Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR). Several senators have signed onto the bill as original cosponsors, including Sens. Moran (R-KS), Collins (R-ME), Blumenthal (D-CT), Feinstein (D-CA), McCaskill (D-MO) and Markey (D-MA), Daines (R-MT) and Toomey (R-PA).

The PAST Act lays out common sense solutions to prevent the continued practice of taking action on a horse’s limb, aka “soring,” to produce an accentuated gait for competition. The bill would take important steps to build on the progress made since passage of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) of 1970, which precipitated a dramatic decline in the practice of soring a horse’s limb. The legislation would amend the HPA to establish a new system for inspecting horses, revise penalties for violations of the Act, and modify enforcement procedures.

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce. The AHC will continue to advocate for additional co-sponsors in order to move this important legislation forward.

To view a copy of a statement from the office of Sen. Warner (D-VA), please click here:
https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/5/warner-crapo-introduce-legislation-to-prevent-horse-soring.

Supreme Court Opens State Sports Betting Flood Gates, Sen. Hatch Offers Federal Framework

Today the Supreme Court released its opinion in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, rejecting the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a federal statute which effectively banned sports gambling in most state jurisdictions.  In a six to three opinion, the high court reversed a 2016 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which upheld the federal law.  Importantly, the court affirmed Congress’s authority to regulate sports betting directly.  However, the court struck PASPA on the grounds that the statute infringed on a state’s ability to “authorize” gambling within its jurisdiction, thereby violating the constitutional principle of “dual sovereignty.”  The court states that in the event Congress doesn’t place direct regulations on gambling, then states are free to enact betting laws as they see fit. 

While today’s decision gives the green light for individual states to move forward with sports gambling schemes, Congress was quick to offer a legislative fix to address the role of the federal government in sports gambling activity.  Not long after the release of the Supreme Court decision, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced that he plans to introduce legislation that he states will remedy a “patchwork” of state laws that won’t adequately protect the “integrity of sports.”  As an original sponsor of PASPA when it was enacted in 1992, Sen. Hatch states that his legislation will “protect consumers, safeguard against underage and problem gambling, and help states who choose not to permit sports betting within their borders.”

“Until today, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing has been the only legal form of sports wagering available throughout most of the United States at both physical locations and online. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled PASPA unconstitutional, states are free to regulate sports betting as they see fit. Horse racing must rise to the challenges and seize the opportunities presented by this expansion of sports betting,” stated Alex Waldrop, Chairman of AHC’s Racing Committee and President of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. 

AHC will provide a more detailed analysis of the Supreme Court decision and legislative responses during the days ahead.  To view a copy of the Supreme Court decision, please click here:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-476_dbfi.pdf.  To view a copy of Sen. Hatch’s (R-UT) announcement for a federal framework for sports gambling, please click here: https://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/releases?ID=02C2FD7A-6D68-40B9-8002-BA458CF4DD4F 

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