Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1316 By Senator Thurston 33-01281-20 20201316__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to trust funds; creating s. 550.914, 3 F.S.; providing legislative findings; creating the 4 Greyhound Compensation Trust Fund within the Division 5 of Pari-mutuel Wagering within the Department of 6 Business and Professional Regulation; specifying the 7 purpose of the fund and authorized uses of the assets; 8 requiring the division to contract with a certain 9 organization to develop criteria and guidelines 10 relating to the fund; requiring that any balances in 11 the fund at the end of the fiscal year remain in the 12 fund; providing for future review and termination of 13 the fund; providing a contingent effective date. 14 15 WHEREAS, Florida has a long and rich history of greyhound 16 racing, with the first racing greyhound track in the state being 17 built in 1922, and 18 WHEREAS, afterwards, racing greyhound tracks were quickly 19 established throughout Florida, including a track in St. 20 Petersburg in 1925, a track in Miami in 1926, tracks in Sanford 21 Orlando and Miami Beach in 1927, and a track in Tampa in 1932, 22 and 23 WHEREAS, in 1931, Florida became the first state in the 24 United States to legalize wagering on greyhounds, and 25 WHEREAS, the greyhound racing industry employs thousands of 26 people in Florida, including greyhound owners, trainers, and 27 other business owners who have invested millions of dollars in 28 their greyhound-racing related businesses, and 29 WHEREAS, s. 32, Article X of the State Constitution 30 authorized greyhound racing permitholders to discontinue live 31 greyhound racing beginning December 31, 2018, and prohibits the 32 wagering on and racing of greyhounds after December 31, 2020, 33 and 34 WHEREAS, the constitutional ban on the wagering on and 35 racing of greyhounds will displace kennel operators and others 36 employed in the greyhound racing industry and has already had an 37 immediate and adverse economic impact on the investment-backed 38 expectations of greyhound racing dog owners, breeders, and other 39 property owners negatively impacted by the ban, and 40 WHEREAS, the United States Constitution and the State 41 Constitution prohibit the government from taking private 42 property through regulation, or otherwise, without providing the 43 owner just compensation, and 44 WHEREAS, it is appropriate to lessen the financial impact 45 and burden resulting from the constitutional ban on greyhound 46 racing and wagering, NOW, THEREFORE, 47 48 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 49 50 Section 1. Section 550.914, Florida Statutes, is created to 51 read: 52 550.914 Greyhound Compensation Trust Fund.— 53 (1) The Legislature finds that: 54 (a) As a result of the approval by the voters of this state 55 of the amendment to the State Constitution prohibiting the 56 wagering on and racing of greyhounds: 57 1. Thousands of people who work in the greyhound racing 58 industry will lose their jobs; and 59 2. Racing greyhound owners and kennel owners will lose 60 millions of dollars in property value; and 61 (b) It is appropriate and necessary to establish a fund to 62 compensate such persons by redirecting revenue generated by the 63 pari-mutuel industry. 64 (2) The Greyhound Compensation Trust Fund is created within 65 the division. 66 (3)(a) The fund is established for use as a depository for 67 funds to be used for compensating persons who were affected by 68 the prohibition on the wagering on and racing of greyhounds in 69 the State Constitution. Moneys to be credited to the trust fund 70 consist of funds from pari-mutuel, slot machine, and cardroom 71 revenues under this chapter, chapter 551, and s. 849.086, 72 respectively. 73 (b) The division shall contract with a statewide 74 organization whose purpose is to promote greyhound racing in 75 this state to develop criteria and guidelines for the 76 qualification of persons for compensation under this section. 77 (4) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, 78 any balance in the trust fund at the end of the fiscal year 79 shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and be 80 available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund. 81 (5) In accordance with s. 19(f)(2), Art. III of the State 82 Constitution, the Greyhound Compensation Trust Fund, unless 83 terminated sooner, shall be terminated on July 1, 2024. Before 84 its scheduled termination, the trust fund shall be reviewed as 85 provided in s. 215.3206(1) and (2). 86 Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, 87 if SB ___ or similar legislation is adopted in the same 88 legislative session or an extension thereof and becomes a law.