State Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, said Tuesday that he was aware of objections from the horse racing community about the legislation and has been attempting to obtain a compromise.
Snyder said one of the biggest concerns is insuring that the new oversight board of the proposed State Gaming and Alcohol Control Agency includes people who know about horse racing.
"I think what the fear is that the horsemen will get lost in all of this," Snyder said.
As introduced in the House (2882) and Senate (401), the legislation would transfer and consolidate oversight of all gaming ventures, including racing, boxing, charitable bingo, raffle games and charitable lottery from the tax and revenue division to the proposed State Gaming and Alcohol Control Agency and State Gaming and Alcohol Control Commission.
Snyder said he is pushing for the creation of a position to oversee day-to-day activities of horse racing and also wants a horse veterinarian on the new commission board.
The proposed nine-member board proposed includes one person who would have at least five years in agriculture or veterinary medicine.
While not mentioning the track owner, Penn National Gaming Inc. and the horsemen's group, Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association, by name, Manchin said he could not understand the level of animosity and division between the two groups.
"They both have everything to gain and can lose so much and continue to lose so much and the people who don't have the jobs that they should have and could have, if they work together," Manchin said.
"I cannot figure this one out - and I know one thing. When legislators throw out all of these inaccuracies and try to drive more of a wedge, that is not what you call leadership or responsible leadership," he said.