Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations


Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 2nd Meeting

of the 2005 Interim


<MeetMDY1> July 8, 2005


The<MeetNo2> 2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations was held on<Day> Friday,<MeetMDY2> July 8, 2005, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in<Room> Room 129 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Denver Butler, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.


Present were:


Members:<Members> Senator Gary Tapp, Co-Chair; Representative Denver Butler, Co-Chair; Senators Tom Buford, Julian M Carroll, Julie Denton, Ray S Jones II, Daniel Mongiardo, Dan Seum, Robert Stivers II, and Damon Thayer; Representatives Tom Burch, Larry Clark, W Milward Dedman Jr, Jon Draud, Dennis Horlander, Joni L Jenkins, Paul H Marcotte, Reginald K Meeks, Charles Miller, Ruth Ann Palumbo, and Jon David Reinhardt.


Guests:  Jim Gallager, Executive Director, Kentucky Horse Racing Authority; LaJuana Wilcher, Secretary, Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet; Lavoyed Hudgins, Executive Director, Laura Moore, Deputy Executive Director, and Steve Humphress, General Counsel, Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control; Tommy Greenwell, Executive Director, Office of Administration and Information Services; Van Cook, Executive Director, Office of Housing, Buildings, and Construction; Chris Lilly, Commissioner, Department of Public Protection; Mary Lassiter, Deputy Director for Policy Research, Office of State Budget Director; and Representative Fred Nesler.


LRC Staff:  Vida Murray, Ann Seppenfield, Bryce Amburgey, and JoAnn Paulin.


The first item on the agenda was approval of the minutes from the June 10, 2005 meeting.  A motion was made, and with a second, the minutes were adopted by voice vote.


Next on the agenda LaJuana Wilcher, Secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet relayed to the committee Governor Fletcher's commitment to enhance and restore Kentucky's horse racing industry.  She said that recently the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council had held public hearings regarding Kentucky's race day medication regulations.  The Council is in the process of writing new regulations to restrict the use of race day medications. 


Jim Gallager, Executive Director of the Kentucky Racing Authority, said post-race testing was significant in regulatory enforcement.  He said that the former Racing Commission had internal policies concerning race-day medication that made Kentucky's policy the most liberal the country for equine medications.  However, these policies were not made available for public comment and never went through any review process or legislative committee.  He said the lack of consistent regulation was problematic.  He said the Horse Racing Authority is currently in the process of promulgating new regulations with participation from all interested parties including the public and the racing industry.  He said the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) represents all facets of the industry, three racing breeds and the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and is working with all parties to adopt a standard drug policy.  However, the RMTC does not have any authority to mandate that any state adopt policy recommendations.  Mr. Gallager said the benefits of uniformity in equine medication rules would remove a barrier created for horses to move across state lines as well as a reduction in the number of positive tests for normal therapeutic medications.  Mr. Gallager said it was his recommendation that the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority adopt the model rule being promoted nationally by the RMTC.


Representative Burch asked how many tests were done in Kentucky on race days and how long the wait was for the test results.  He also asked who was complaining about the quality of the horses in Kentucky.  Mr. Gallager said two samples are taken at every race track: one from the winner, and one from a horse randomly selected by the stewards.  He said the samples go to Iowa State University and usually the results are reported within 10 to 12 days.  Secretary Wilcher said the newly established Equine Drug Research Council is looking at how testing should be done and where.  She said it would be done at Iowa State University until its contract with the Authority runs out.  She said the Horse Racing Authority was trying to level the playing field so that everyone knows what drugs are in the horse on race day.


Senator Thayer said that as a member of the Equine Drug Research Council, he strongly supported and voted for the new model drug recommendations. He indicated the new policy will allow the administration of Lasix or Salix, an anti-bleeder medication, four hours before a race, and another drug, which in laymen's terms is aspirin, 24 hours before a race.  He said there should be a level playing field for trainers who race in multiple states.  He stated that his interest is largely due to safety concerns and that Kentucky should be a leader. 


Senator Stivers asked if the Authority would provide a list of those drugs deemed legal and illegal and asked the impact of each on the horses.  Secretary Wilcher said there is a long list of drugs that are prohibited currently by regulation; however, if the current regulation was implemented it would outlaw even Lasix.   She said she would be happy to submit the list to committee staff.  Mr. Gallager said there was a form, KRC3, on file with the Legislative Research Commission that lists prohibited drugs.


Senator Mongiardo asked Mr. Gallager to supply the committee members a list of horses that had tested positive for drugs, and the corresponding penalties to be imposed.  Mr. Gallager said the penalties were approved by the Horse Racing Authority and took into account the classification of the drug used.


Representative Butler asked that the list of horses with positive drug tests also include the  trainer's name.


Representative Palumbo asked Mr. Gallager why he went back to check older test results.  She also asked Secretary Wilcher to notify the chairmen of the committee when problems were discovered so the committee could help.  Mr. Gallager said he asked the laboratory director at Iowa State University why there were not any positive cases in Kentucky and he was told the previous commission applied thresholds to the medications so they were not positive.


Senator Carroll asked what the Equine Drug Research Council's recommendation was to the Authority as far as  drafting the regulation and if there was dissension from any of the council members concerning the policy.  Senator Thayer responded that the Equine Drug Research Council's vote on the new medication policy was six to one.  He said the meetings discussing this rule change have been open to the public.


Senator Tapp said that he has had the opportunity to serve on the Task Force addressing the jockey's workmen's comp issue and has been impressed with the knowledge Mr. Gallager has of the horse racing industry.  He said the ultimate goal was to keep Kentucky's horse racing industry the best in world.


Representative Clark said he would like for Mr. Gallager to keep an open line of communication with the committee chairs, and asked that when considering workers comp for jockeys, to include exercise riders as well.  Also, he asked Secretary Wilcher to send him a written report on the status of the Hub legislation, House Bill 708, passed by the 2004 General Assembly.


Representative Butler said he would like to see Ms. Whitfield come before the committee soon.


Marty Maline, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horseman's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and Dr. Thomas Tobin, pharmacologist and professor at the University of Kentucky, addressed the committee stating that the horsemen in Kentucky would like an opportunity to have open discussions allowing them to have experts in the industry explain the advantage of race day medication and the importance of that medication to the horse.  Dr. Tobin said setting a threshold was necessary because some substances are natural to the environment and are evident in all horses.


Senator Carroll asked Dr. Tobin if there was proper consideration of the threshold and if there had been any intentional oversight of any findings of the test results done at the University of Iowa.  Dr. Tobin said that the threshold is determined by the respective jurisdiction but the basic concepts are the same.  He concluded that a simple chemical finding in itself, unless it has been confirmed independently to be illegal, requires more information.


Senator Thayer asked Mr. Maline if the National HBPA and its state affiliates support the model rule or if the Kentucky HBPA was the only local affiliate that does not support the rule.  Mr. Maline replied that various states have different medications that are sacred to them, such as Florida that uses anti-bleeder medications on race days because of the heat.  He said several local HBPA's had asked the consortium to allow race day medications until research indicates otherwise.


Representative Butler asked Dr. Tobin if the Equine Drug Research Council had asked him to testify when they met.  He responded no.


Next on the agenda, Lavoyed Hudgins, Executive Director of the Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision held that it was unconstitutional to restrict out-of-state wineries from shipping wine to other states.  Mr. Hudgins said the Court ruling raises several issues for the state to consider, such as tax revenue impact, sales to minors, sales in dry territories and the economic impact on Kentucky's wineries.  He said in 1990, Kentucky had only 2 small farm wineries and this year 40 small farm wineries are licensed.  This is due to farmers seeking alternatives to raising tobacco.  He said that the Office was currently reviewing its 2006 legislative initiatives but has made no final decisions.  Also, the Office is considering regulation changes to comply with the Supreme Court decision.  He said that Kentucky is predominately dry; however, recently there has been a definite increase in wet or moist areas.  He said it was his goal to be responsive to the committee's and to the licensee's concerns.


Senator Denton asked what the time frame was for the two-case shipment allotment and how the Office was going to resolve the issue of in-state wineries selling directly to consumers if a wholesaler does not want to buy their wine.  Mr. Hudgins said currently, there is not a limit on the out-of-state shipment but on the in-state set at per visit.  He said there was more than one option and he wanted to work with the legislature to remedy this situation.    Senator Denton also asked if a visitor to California could arrange for monthly shipments.  Steve Humphress said visitors could only buy at the time of their visit out-of-state and have it shipped back to their residence.


Next on the agenda was old business.  The committee had asked for a response from the Office of Housing, Buildings, and Construction regarding the hiring resolution passed in the June committee meeting.  Tommy Greenwell, Executive Director of the Office of Administrative Services in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet said that the agency has hired 24 of the 51 positions based on estimated revenue that would be generated from the sale of licenses, the renewal of licenses, and the inspections fees.  He added that additional positions would be filled when the work and the revenue stream support the additional positions.


Representative Clark said that $1,750,000 had been put in the budget document each year for the addition of 51 new positions and asked what positions were going to be filled and how many people were going to be hired in each category.  He also asked how much of the restrictive funds were being spent.  Mr. Greenwell said of the 24 new hires there were 17 positions in the Division of Plumbing, 4 positions in Building Codes Enforcement, and 3 positions in the Division of HVAC.  Mr. Greenwell said the total moneys spent for the 24 positions were $1,527,571.


There being no further business before the committee the meeting was adjourned at 12:10 PM.