New York Senate Bill 1707A, i.e. the bill to authorize mixed martial arts in New York, overwhelmingly passed the Senate Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, by a vote of 13-1 this morning.
If last year is any indication, the bill will now go straight to the full Senate for a vote.
The overwhelming support for the bill is a good sign and so is the fact that the bill is through the Tourism Committee this early in the legislative session, i.e. approximately three (3) months before the bill was referred out of the Tourism Committee last year.
While I hesitate to read too much into anything when it comes to New York politics, in my view, the early action on the bill in the Senate (in particular, before the budget process has been resolved) is a step in the right direction.
By the time the bill passed the Senate last year it was near the end of the legislative session, which did not give proponents of legalizing MMA in the Assembly too much time to use that leverage and publicity to work on pushing the bill in the Assembly.
Now, however, if the Senate can pass the bill in April or even early-May, there will be more time to force the issue in the Assembly.
If this happens, I think the New York grassroots movement can be a critical force by getting the issue on the radar of representatives (who are not otherwise sponsors of the bill or aware of the issue) up in Albany.
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Meanwhile Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, Frankie Edgar, Matt Hamill, Renzo Gracie, and and local NYU fight Doctor Todd Schlifstein meet with Legislators today to urge the regulation of mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York and highlight the millions annually in revenue the sport would bring to New York.
Renzo Gracie, Frankie Edgar, Matt Hamill and Dana White will then address the media and hold an MMA community expo for teens from Albany’s Journeyman Wrestling School at the Washington Avenue Armory. Albany area youths from the local Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, Arbor Hill Community Center and Boy Scouts will attend.
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