Original jurisdiction in case of James Gilligan, John Wames, George Hammerschmidt and Pennsylvania Division of the Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association v. Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, Andrew R. Johnson, Chairman, A. Marilyn Moyer, Commissioner, and William D. Gross, Commissioner, and Jockey's Guild, Inc.
David S. Kohn, for petitioners.
Bartholomew J. DeLuca, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, with him David H. Allshouse, Deputy Attorney General, Norman J. Watkins, Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Civil Litigation, and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondents.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 46 Pa. Commw. Page 596]
On October 19, 1978, the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission (Commission), following an advertisement in 8 Pa. B. 2470 (1978), unanimously adopted an amendment to Rule 9.15 of the Rules of Racing in 8 Pa. B. 3342 (1978). Rule 9.15 provides a schedule permitting an increase of riding fees to jockeys by horse owners or trainers. The amendment was proposed to the Commission by the Jockeys' Guild, Inc., an association representing jockeys. They intervened.
The Pennsylvania Division of the Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association (HBPA), which represents owners-trainers of racing horses at various race tracks in Pennsylvania, together with the president of the Pennsylvania division and two other horse ownertrainers affected by increased jockey fees, have filed
[ 46 Pa. Commw. Page 597]
a Petition for Review*fn1 wherein they challenge the power and authority of the Commission to amend and decree the new schedule.
The Commission, having broad powers prescribed by the legislature in the supervision of all activities conducted at horse race meetings, contends that the amendment to Rule 9.15 was a valid exercise of its rule-making power. In addition, it claims it is authorized to set jockey fees under Section 1 of the Horse Racing Act*fn2 (Act) which gives the Commission "general jurisdiction over all pari-mutuel thoroughbred horse racing activities in the State and the corporations engaged therein." Legislative authorization to establish and alter jockey fees is found in Section 2(a) of the Act*fn3 which authorizes the Commission "to supervise generally all thoroughbred horse race meetings in the State at which pari-mutuel betting is conducted."
The rationale of the proposed amendment to Rule 9.15 is, as the Commission advertised, that the present rules relating to prescribed jockey fees fixed in 1968 are not current because of "inflationary pressures and other adverse effects" and "that it would be reasonable and appropriate to increase these fees." In addition to its argument that the Commission lacks the power to set jockey fees, the HBPA alternatively urges that even had the legislature intended to vest some discretion in the Commission, the delegation is invalid because of its failure to provide adequate standards.
[ 46 Pa. Commw. Page 598]
The cardinal issue is whether the Commission has the legislative authority to set the fees paid by ...