Frankfort, KY (February 8, 2024) – Legislation aimed at streamlining the permit approval process for racing events on state-maintained highways cleared the House today. The bill, HB 29, sponsored by Representative Derek Lewis and co-sponsored by Representative Timmy Truett, moves to the Senate for consideration.
This measure would allow local governments to issue permits for racing events on state-maintained highways. HB 29 builds on SB 96, which lawmakers passed during the 2023 Regular Session. SB 96 created the framework for local governments to issue permits for racing events and gave local governments the authority to close roads, reroute pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic, and waive traffic regulations for racing events.
In Kentucky, motorsports have had significant economic impact. According to the Economic Impact Study created by Backroads of Appalachia, a non-profit motorsports tourism organization, there was a total spending impact of $38,583,180 in Eastern Kentucky from Backroads of Appalachia’s 2023 events.
“I am proud to co-sponsor HB 29, which promotes the motorsports industry in Kentucky” said Truett. “As a member of both the Economic Development and Workforce Investment Committee and the Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee, I believe this piece of legislation will have positive effects on Kentucky’s economy and tourism industry.”
Backroads of Appalachia also noted that their motorsport events have had a positive impact on employment in the region.
“As a representative in the eastern part of Kentucky, this piece of legislation will directly impact constituents in my district,” said Lewis. “HB 29 will continue to help bring growth to Eastern Kentucky and opportunities to those in the region.”
Motorsports play a substantial role in regional efforts to grow outdoor recreation. Representative Chris Fugate of Hazard has long championed this approach to creating jobs and driving investment in Eastern Kentucky.
“We know this approach works because we’ve seen it work in West Virginia, Virginia, and other areas,” Fugate added. “I’m excited about the potential and glad to see bills like HB 29 make it easier to attract motorsports of all kinds.”
For more information about this bill please visit legislature.ky.gov.