Assemblyman Bob Reilly, an upstate Democrat, opposes the sport on moral grounds. He disagrees with Paterson’s projections that the sport would bring in $2 million annually to the state.
“It is violence for violence’s sake,” Reilly said. “And violence begets violence.”
White countered by saying that his sport may not be for everyone and that “there are fewer serious injuries in the U.F.C. than in competitive cheerleading.”
Reilly is working to prevent that. He sent a letter signed by 48 members of the 150-seat Assembly to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver asking to have the sanctioning of mixed martial arts removed from the budget process. But if that effort fails, he said, the state’s fiscal problems are too big to be held up by a fight over mixed martial arts.
“Then I will probably not vote against it,” he said. “As this will only be a small part of the budget.”
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new york Senate Passes Budget Proposal
The Associated Press reported yesterday that the New York State Senate has approved a $136 billion State Budget Proposal that would also legalize the sport of mixed martial arts.
The New York Senate has voted 32-29 for a $136 billion spending plan that Democratic leaders say would soften some budget cuts proposed by Gov. David Paterson while still reducing spending by more than $4 billion, including $1.4 billion in aid to schools.
Other provisions would legalize mixed martial arts and extend film production tax credits, as Paterson proposed, but reject wine sales in grocery stories and a provision requiring DNA records from misdemeanor offenders.
The state budget proposal includes a provision to regulate mixed martial arts, because Gov. Patterson recognizes the impact that events held within the State of New York might have on its economy. For example, the UFC would likely put together a huge card for its first event at Madison Square Garden and it could easily fetch between $4 and $5 million at the gate. At the proposed gross receipt tax of 8.5%, nearly $400,000+ in revenue would make its way to the government. That doesn’t even take into account the tax on merchandise or concession sales, nor the overall positive economic impact on the city in general.
Important note: the process is not yet complete. There’s still some wrangling to go, which means any celebration would be premature.
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MMA gear now available at the UG Store