June 27 (UPI) -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that gives the state's horse racing board the authority to suspend licenses to protect the safety of horses after 30 died this year at one park.
"Business as usual has resulted in too many horse deaths," Newsom said Wednesday in a statement. "I applaud the legislature for taking action to expand the authority of the [California Horse Racing Board] to cancel or move race meets when animal and human safety are at risk."
The CHRB is currently limited in its ability to take action against a licensee. The new law will allow the board the ability to immediately suspend licenses if the safety or a horse or rider is at risk.
"Putting the safety of horses first is paramount," said Sen. Bill Dodd who authored the law. "I appreciate Gov. Newsom's partnership and swift action in supporting this commonsense measure to allow the Horse Racing Board to halt racing when dangerous conditions exist."
The bill's signing comes two weeks after Newsom directed the board to apply new safety measures and create a review group for Santa Anita Park, which has come under scrutiny following the deaths of 30 horses at the park this season.
Since the review board was created, 38 horses were prevented from racing during the final two weeks of the race season, the Office of the Governor said in a statement.
The next racing season is set to begin in September with the Santa Anita Park to host the 2019 Breeders' Cup in November.