House OKs financing for horse drug tests

Posted at: 02/26/2013 7:42 AM
By: The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico lawmakers have approved a proposal to finance more testing of race horses to detect illegal drug use.

The House unanimously approved a measure on Monday to pay for stricter testing with revenue from a tax on pari-mutuel wagering at horse racing tracks.

The proposal, which goes to the Senate, will provide about $700,000 a year for testing by the State Racing Commission.

The measure will tap revenue that's helped finance improvements at the state fairgrounds, which is the site of a race track.

The fairgrounds money ends in 2014 under current law and the legislation shifts it to drug testing in 2015.

The push for more testing came after a New York Times story described New Mexico as having the nation's worst horse safety record.

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