Louisiana legislators want investments in Fair Grounds

The renowned horse race track company Churchill Downs Inc. is getting pressure from the state Legislature to make investments and improvements at the Gentilly Fair Grounds.

Fair Grounds officials have complained in recent months that maintenance issues plaguing the track have taken a toll on wage revenues and resulted in canceled races.

State Rep. Patrick Connick’s House Bill 808 would give the Louisiana Racing Commission the power to suspend the license if the track is not properly maintained.

On Monday, the measure passed its first hurdle, passing through the House Committee on Commerce favorably, without objection.

Connick said the Fair Grounds has “fallen into disrepair.”

“Churchill Downs has a responsibility to make sure they’re safe,” he said. “Currently they’re not.”

Connick also sponsored House Bill 1223 which would mandate that 10 percent of slot revenue be used toward upgrades at the track.

That bill is expected to be heard Tuesday in a Senate Committee on Judiciary B.