Just like in 2010, the bill to legalize MMA in the state of New York passed the Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee with a vote of 17-3, but will still likely never make it to the Assembly floor for a general vote before the legislative session ends.
The sport of mixed martial arts has had a long relationship with the state of New York, it’s not even legalized or sanctioned in the state yet.
It’s for that very reason that any news regarding the sport’s continued efforts to get lawmakers in New York to pass a bill to legalize MMA peppers the headlines.
The latest news is good news, but the end of the road yet.
On Monday, members of the New York State Assembly’s Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development committee voted 17-3 to approve MMA being legalized in the state.
This committee is of special interest for two particular members. Steve Englebright, who chairs the committee and has championed MMA being legalized in the state, and Assemblyman Bob Reilly, the main outspoken opponent of the sport being sanctioned in New York.
While the vote does give hope that MMA could be legalized in 2011, there are still more hurdles to cross.
The bill to legalize MMA in New York has made it this far before, and as a matter of fact did so with a vote of 16-3 in the same committee in 2010 before dying on the vine in other committees.
Hypothetically, if the bill passes through the other committees, it will go to the general assembly for a vote. If it’s approved there, then it would go to the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo for the final signature needed to legalize the sport.
Unfortunately, signs have pointed to the sport not making it to the floor for voting before the legislative session ends.
Just last week both Assemblyman Englebright and Reilly noted that they expected the vote to go through the Tourism committed before likely dying before a vote could be held with the general assembly.
“I imagine we’ll have similar blockage or stoppage,” Englebright said when speaking to the Albany Business Review. “But, you never know. There are quite a few new faces in the chamber this year. I haven’t seen a sea change, but I have seen subtle changes.”
The latest legislative session in the New York Assembly ends on June 20.
Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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