Rotation Date Bill in Floridas House: Rep. Fascells Committee to Hold Open Hearing Before it Submits Measure for Action, Daily Racing Form, 1953-05-13


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— ▲ Rotation Date Bill In Floridas House Rep. Fascells Committee to Hold Open Hearing Before It Submits Measure for Action MIAMI. Fla., May 12. — Already past the Senate by a 23-15 vote, a bill which would rotate Floridas horse racing dates between Hialeah, Gulf stream and Tropical Park is now in the hands of the House Committee on Public Amusements. This bill, which popped up suddenly at Tallahassee last week, would become effective with the 1954-55 winter season, leaving Hialeah with the lush middle-season dates next winter. But in 1954-55. Gulfstream would operate in the middle, with Hialeah opening the season and Tropical closing it. In 1955-56, Gulfstream would open and Hialeah would close, with Tropical running in the choice January 17 — March 4 location. A "no-holds-barred" scrap is forecast in the House. The public amusement committee, headed by Rep Dante Fascell of Miami, is scheduled to hold an open hearing on the bill within the next week. This committee is filled with so-called "blue ribbon" members, believed to be immune to lobbyist exposure. And Floridas legislature, which meets every two years, always brings about five lobbyist to every lawmaker at its biennial session. This bill to rotate the dates sprung into being after a tie vote 19-19 in the Senate killed an earlier measure designed to move up the Florida race season 15 days. All Working Separately on Bill On the surface, it looks as if Gulfstream and Tropical would work together on a rotating measure. Actually, all three ovals are working more or less separately as far as the bill is concerned. Results of Senate action on the rotation bill had been forecast in most quarters, but the margin was a definite surprise. What will happen in the House is anybodys guess at this moment. Rep Fascells committee is certain to go into all angles of the measure before it submits to the House for action. During the Senate vote, Sen. R. B. Gau-tier of Miami, whose law firm has represented Tropical for the past three years, refused to go along with the bill and voted against the rotation plan. Sen. Gautier ridiculed the believe that the measure would eliminate the wrangling every two years in the legislature over race dates. There was talk earlier in the legislature session that a bill might be introduced to return the power of awarding race dates to the state racing commission. However, nothing has been heard of late. From the time pari-mutuel wagering was legalized in Florida in 1932 until 1947, the commission handled the race date problem. However, in 1947 the state legislature passed the so-called "Hialeah Bill," which gives the tracks their choice of dates in accordance to their mutuel handle the preceding year. Since Hialeah had the choice dates the season before, it has continued to get the middle-season 40-day period.

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