Monday, June 20, 2011

MMA in New York Not Happening in 2011--Stalls in Ways & Means Committee Again

As predicted (and as in past years), the MMA bill has again stalled in the New York State Assembly after passing the New York Senate and overwhelmingly passing the two committees where it was debated in the Assembly--Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development and Codes. 

Unfortunately, the next committee in the process, Ways & Means, has issued its Agenda on this last day of the legislative session and it does not include the bill that would legalize MMA in New York. 

While the legislative session could go a few days longer -- until Wednesday or Thursday perhaps -- the bill would still need to pass through W&M and Rules before going to the floor for a vote.  This is not going to happen as Herman Farrell, Chair of Ways & Means, has voiced his distaste for MMA:
The Ways and Means chairman said that he’s “looking at” the bill, but said he’s far from a mixed-martial arts fan.  “I don’t think very much of the sport,” Farrell said. “Next we’ll give them clubs with spikes on the end; that will be good.”
Moreover, Sheldon Silver, Chair of Rules and Speaker of the Assembly, has stated that he is not "enamored" with the sport.

Despite the setback, there is some room for optimism this year.  Indeed, there was more mainstream media attention to the issue, which I believe and have previously written will be critical if we are going to get this done.  Moreover, the votes (when votes occurred) were more favorable to MMA than past years.

The fight resumes in 2012.

Fight Lawyer