Sen. Dodd’s Horse Racing Safety Bill Clears Senate

Thursday, May 9, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to protect racing horses and jockeys amid the recent horse deaths at Santa Anita Park was approved by the full Senate today with unanimous support.

“This bill is about preventing the tragic death of horses by empowering regulators to rapidly respond to address dangerous conditions,” Sen. Dodd said. “It’s about protecting the health and safety of animals while ensuring the future of a storied sport.”

Senate Bill 469, introduced as 23 horses died at Santa Anita earlier this year, allows the California Horse Racing Board to quickly suspend racing at tracks when dangerous conditions exist. Under the bill, board members may convene an emergency meeting to consider temporary track closure for situations requiring prompt action. The usual 10-day meeting notice would be waived, but the board would still be required to announce the emergency meeting to the media and public.

SB 469 is co-authored by Sen. Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park and Assemblymembers Ed Chau, D-Arcadia, and Adam Gray, D-Merced.

It heads next to the Assembly.


Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at