Louisiana Joins Lawsuit Filed Against HISA

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has joined Louisiana to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2021, according to a release from his office. Landry claims the measure was ramrodded into a COVID-19 relief bill that cedes much state regulatory and taxation power to an unelected nongovernmental entity.

HISA was signed into law late last year by then-President Donald Trump after the bill gained momentum last summer.

The legislation creates the formation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to oversee the sport’s equine medication, anti-doping policies, and drug testing—taking that responsibility away from state regulators. The bill’s supporters, including The Jockey Club and most prominent track owners, believe the new approach will improve integrity and uniformity.

“While I believe that horses should be treated humanely and horse racing should be held to the highest degree of integrity, I know that more bureaucracy from an overreaching and unaccountable fiefdom is not the way to achieve these goals,” Landry said in a portion of the release.

Landry’s action has the backing of the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the release said. 

An amended complaint filed July 15 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky lists Oklahoma and West Virginia as other plaintiffs along with their respective racing commissions and racing entities in those states.

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