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NM governor signs horse racing crackdown bills

April 2, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico racing regulators will be able to test more horses for illegal drugs and can impose tougher sanctions for violations under legislation Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law Tuesday.

One new law provides the State Racing Commission with an earmarked source of money — about $700,000 a year — for testing race horses. That’s more than twice what the regulatory agency currently spends, according to Vince Mares, the commission’s executive director.

The money will come from an existing tax on pari-mutuel wagering at horse racing tracks.

Another law will allow the commission to impose penalties of up to $100,000, or the amount of a horse’s winnings, whichever is greater, for violations of the state’s racing rules, including those against the use of performance enhancing drugs. Civil penalties currently are limited to $10,000 for each violation.

The laws take effect June 14.

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