MD House passes Racing Development bill on 122-8 vote

The Maryland House of Delegates the afternoon of March 14 passed the Racing and Community Development Act on a 122-8 vote.

The House followed the Senate, which earlier passed its version of the legislation by a vote of 44-1. The two bills vary only slightly—the primary components such as the funding mechanism for the Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course are the same—and the votes indicate strong support for the measure.

Earlier on March 14, Senate President Bill Ferguson and Adrienne Jones, Speaker of the House of Delegates, announced that the General Assembly will adjourn it session March 18 rather than April 6 due to concerns of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Maryland Matters reported that the legislature intends to "focus on must-pass legislation" and other priorities in the final three days.

The publication also said the plan is to return for a special session in late May.

The House Ways and Means Committee on March 19 was scheduled to hold hearings on the Senate sports betting bill, which passed by a vote of 47-1 and was sent to the House. It isn't known whether that bill will be taken up before the early adjournment or during a special session.

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