The New York State Assembly's Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development committee today passed a bill to regulate the sport of MMA in the Empire State.
The bill, titled A04146A, passed by a vote of 16-3, according to a representative from the office of its sponsor, New York Assemblyman Steven Englebright.
However, several hurdles remain before the bill becomes law. With just seven days left on the Assembly's legislative calendar, it must clear several hurdles to get a vote on the floor.
The bill first will head to the assembly's Codes Committee, which addresses the legal ramifications of Legislation. Next it goes to the Ways and Means Committee, which addresses bills with financial implications. Finally, it heads to the Rules Committee, which oversees the activities of the assembly floor.
If all goes well, the bill then will get a vote on the assembly floor. A senate companion to A04146A passed late this past month by a margin of 42-18.
However, UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner is holding out hope that things will turn around in 2011. The bill could be signed into law this year by Governor Cuomo if its passed in the assembly.
"We're delighted with the Senate passing and coming out of the tourism committee," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "We're cautiously optimistic that this will be the year for MMA."
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UFC President Dana White has called for help from the MMA community:
Getting the State Legislature to allow mixed martial arts has been an uphill battle, but thanks to you guys, we’ve refused to let it die.
Today we had some good news. The Assembly Tourism Committee voted to allow Regulation of MMA. The Senate passed the bill already, so now all we need is the full Assembly to vote.
But this is where we got stuck last year, so we need your help.
Please take a minute and call your assembly member and ask them to demand a vote on MMA. The legislature leaves for the summer in two weeks so we have no time to lose.
New York fans have waited long enough. Let’s finish this!
Click here to find your Assembly members phone number.