BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland Senate bill that will help redevelop Pimlico Race Course, Laural Park and create the Bowie Race Course and Training Center was approved Thursday without the governor’s signature.
MD Senate Bill 987 was authorized into law without the governor’s signature Thursday.
The bill allows the Board of Public Works, the Maryland Stadium Authority to issue up to $375 million for the planning, design and construction of the racing facilities. That money will also go toward funding mechanisms and fund transfers, the ownership and management of racing facilities, and tax incentives.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday that a number of bills would be vetoed due to the large costs affiliated with each. The state has been spending more money, including from its rainy day fund, to combat the coronavirus.
Among the 20 bills vetoed are the Kirwan Commission and Blueprint For Maryland’s Future and another bill that authorized $580 million toward Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities otherwise known as HBCUs.
The Kirwan plan focused on five policy areas for K-12. They include expanding early childhood education such as pre-K and increasing teacher salaries.
The policy areas also include college and career readiness, aid for struggling schools and accountability in implementation. The measure would phase in the recommendations over 10 years and cost billions of dollars.
“As I made clear last month, given these challenges, it would be irresponsible to allow legislation that requires increasing spending to become law. I am committed to working with legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle as we confront these difficult budget choices on the road to economic recovery,” Hogan said.
Alan M. Rifkin, Esq., counsel for the Maryland Jockey Club and Preakness Stakes responded to the announcement Thursday:
“On behalf of Belinda Stronach, The Stronach Group, the Maryland Jockey Club and the Maryland racing industry, we are very appreciative that the “Racing and Community Development Act” is now law. We thank Governor Hogan, Senate President Ferguson, Speaker Jones, Mayor Young, County Executive Pittman and the many other state leaders who championed this historic law.
We are confident that the near shovel-ready capital works projects included in the “Racing and Community Redevelopment Act” will be a critical part of Maryland’s financial recovery, jobs creation and community and economic development.
The Act, which addressed vexing issues that had long challenged the industry, now allows for the bright future and optimism of the Preakness at Pimlico for generations to come, year round racing at Laurel Park making it the epicenter of training and racing in the Mid-Atlantic, and the unprecedented reinvestment in the communities of interest served by the tracks.
This is truly a defining moment in the history of the Maryland thoroughbred racing industry and the State, and we are most appreciative,”