New York is the only state or province in North America where professional MMA is illegal. A bill to legalize and regulate MMA in New York has passed the Senate for four consecutive years by large bipartisan majorities – 47-15 this year. However, for a series of undemocratic reasons, right wasn't enough, and the bill did not pass.
However, Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigue) has called for the Assembly to reconvene in order to address several important bills, including the regulation of MMA.
Recent calls for the Assembly to return to Albany to pass women’s equality legislation are entirely justified. The Assembly Majority’s decision not to introduce separate bills on the women’s agenda ended any chance of meaningful legislation being passed in the 2013 legislative session. But we have a chance to correct that mistake. We should return to Albany and pass bills that address issues that include workplace harassment, human trafficking, protections for victims of domestic violence, and pay equity.
The flawed and ineffective process used by the Majority on the women’s equality bill is the most glaring example of the missed opportunities that came out of the 2013 session. If we do return, it is imperative that we also consider a host of bills that have already passed the Senate but still await action in the Assembly. In addition to voting on measures that advance a women’s agenda, the Assembly should:
•Pass legislation that would establish term limits on legislative leaders and committee chairs, infusing new perspectives and opinions while restricting the accumulation of power in the Legislature.
•Pass Brittany’s Law, to create a registry of violent offenders and provide critical information designed to protect the safety of children and families in communities across New York State.
•Repeal the costly and unnecessary Wage Theft Prevention Act annual notice requirement – an onerous unfunded mandate on businesses that cuts into their bottom lines and stifles job-creation and business growth.
•Bring a vote on Mixed Martial Arts legislation to the floor, a job-creating measure with more than 60 bill sponsors and bipartisan support in the Assembly.
We left Albany with far too much unfinished business. The Assembly should return and act on the women’s agenda, and on anti-corruption, job-creating, and public-safety measures to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers.
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