(How ’bout best two out of three?)
A-2009c, the bill that calls for the sanctioning of combat sports in New York State was referred to the Codes Committee by the Committee of Parks, Tourism, and Sports Development once again today, meaning if it can pass just two more hurdles, the sport will be legalized in the state.
You may recall that the same committee already voted to pass the bill back in June of 2009, however thanks in part to pressure by opposition leader Bob Reilly who sits on the committee that voted on A-2009c today, the group was made to vote on it again. Reilly stated that Governor David Paterson, who included MMA sanctioning in his executive budget proposal for this year was “attempting to circumvent the legislative process" by including MMA in the budget rather than bringing the issue to the sub-assembly for vote.
All Reilly’s complaining did was delay the inevitable as the the CPTSD again overwhelmingly voted in favor of moving the bill forward to the Codes Committee. If that committee okays the bill, the fate of MMA in New York will rest with the votes of the State Assembly.
Committee chairman Steve Englebright’s policy director, Elizabeth Nostrand told USCombatsports.com last week that the Governor’s budgetary inclusion of the sport was presumptuous and that the bill, whose progress has been stalled for the past five months while the committee dealt with more pressing matters, needed to go through the proper approval process if it was to be considered legitimate.
“If MMA [was] negotiated through the Governor’s budget, our bill would [have] become meaningless,” Nostrand said of the MMA bill’s “hiatus.”
Voting on the corresponding Senate Bill (S. 2165-B) is on the Senate Tourism Committee’s agenda next Wednesday, June 9.
A summary of the bill and its history in the NY State legislature can be found here.