It’s finally happened: Nearly 20 years after the state of New York banned mixed martial arts, the State Assembly voted today to approve a bill legalizing the sport, joining the State Senate and Governor Andrew Cuomo and the other 49 states in the union in the 21st century.
After three hours of heated debate the Assembly voted 113-25 in favor of the bill, which had previously been approved by the Senate. The MMA bill now goes to Cuomo’s desk, and seeing as how the governor has already expressed his support for the bill, and even included the regulation of MMA in his proposed 2016 budget, his signature seems like a foregone conclusion. Under state guidelines, the MMA law will go into effect 120 days after Governor Cuomo signs the bill.
The vote ends a whirlwind of a week for MMA in New York, starting last Tuesday when the leadership of the Democratic conference in the Assembly announced that they would be bringing the Senate MMA bill to the various committees of the Assembly in the hopes of then pushing it to the floor of the full Assembly for a vote this week. This morning the bill went before the Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee, where it passed on a vote of 15-5. From that point on it was as if a dam had broken and a great torrent had been unleashed on Albany. Within an hour the Codes Committee had followed suit, passing the measure 16-5. At about 2:30pm the Ways and Means Committee was summoned from the Assembly floor to discuss the bill and they quickly voted in favor of it as well. Things were stirring. At 3:10pm the Rules Committee (the last hurdle before the last hurdle) moved from the Assembly floor into the Speaker’s Conference Room to ….View full article