Despite concerns about lost jobs for breeders and what will happen to the dogs, a House panel approved on Thursday a bill that would allow dog tracks to continue to have poker rooms with no requirement they have live dog racing, reports the News Service of Florida. The bill (HB 1145) by Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, was approved by the House Economic Affairs Committee, setting up a floor vote. Currently, the tracks can only operate card rooms if they have live dog racing, but track owners say the real money is now in the cards, not the dogs. Opponents of the bill say it will put 3,000 workers out of a job, though supporters said some dog tracks likely will continue to offer live racing if the bill passes. Young said the only reasons the tracks still have dog racing is because they?e required to. ?t is not our job as government to be propping up an industry,?Young said. A similar measure in the Senate (SB 1594) is scheduled to be heard Monday in the Senate Budget Committee.
Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.