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  • DeDe Biles

The Aiken Standard: Equine Advancement Act has ‘good chance’ to pass in S.C. Senate, Young says

The outlook is favorable for legislation known as the S.C. Equine Advancement Act to move forward in 2024, a local lawmaker told the Aiken Standard on Monday.

“That’s already on the Senate calendar,” S.C. Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, said after speaking to the Rotary Club of Aiken at Newberry Hall.

“The House passed it [in 2023], and I do think it has a good chance to pass [in the Senate],” he continued. “I don’t think there is across-the-board support, but I do think there is a good deal of support.”

Young is among the Equine Advancement Act’s backers.

“I plan to vote for it because the way I understand the bill, I think it would be good for South Carolina and for this area in particular,” he said.

The Equine Advancement Act would allow gaming providers to operate in the Palmetto State and offer advanced deposit wagering, or ADW, on horse races.

The act also would authorize the creation of the South Carolina Equine Commission, which would issue licenses to gaming providers and collect application and annual license fees.

Some of that money would go to the Equine Industry Development Fund and be used for grants to promote and improve the Palmetto State’s equine industry.

“That is another reason why I plan to support the legislation,” Young said.

During his speech to the Rotary Club, Young discussed other issues that he expects lawmakers to consider next year.

“I think the General Assembly will pass anti-gang legislation similar to [what already is in place in] Georgia and North Carolina,” said Young, who described such action as “a priority.”

He also mentioned illegal gun possession.

“There has been a push for years to try to get the state’s penalties increased, and think we’ll make progress on that,” Young said.

Critical race theory and a ban on gender-affirming care for people under the age of 18 are other issues that will be on the minds of legislators in 2024, according to Young.


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