Updated 06/15/2011 05:54 AM
MMA bill stalling in Assembly
Is Mixed Martial Arts looking at another knockout? Just one day after it scored a big win in the Assembly Codes Committee, a bill that would bring the sport to New York appears to be stalling in the ways and means committee. Our Solomon Syed has the latest.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Mixed Martial Arts continues to punch its way through the legislature. Monday it notched a 17 to 1 decision in the Assembly Codes Committee. However, on Tuesday, a bill that would bring it to New York staggered in the Ways and Means committee.
"If something does not have the votes to pass, we don't bother taking it to the floor," said Assemblyman Bob Reilly, (D) - Colonie.
Reilly - long an opponent of the bill - indicated Assembly Democrats may be employing the rope-a-dope. Speaker Sheldon Silver tells YNN there's not widespread support among his members.
Nevertheless, MMA's backers still unleashing their economic counter-punch.
"The state is missing out on the revenue which we could use for many other things that we need this year, such as funding for our schools, universities, libraries," said Steve Englebright, (D) - East Setauket, the bill's sponsor in the Assembly.
"All we want up here is a vote," said Marc Ratner, Ultimate Fighting Championship's Vice President of Governmental and Legislative Affairs. "We want it to get to the floor, and let the members vote on it."
MMA didn't even make it on to the agenda in the Ways and Means Committee, where it has to pass before it can hope to have a fighter's chance in the Assembly.
"We are trying to eradicate violence in this state, not approve it," said Reilly. "This is very harmful to the fighters, this is not going to bring money into the state."
Supporters said they're down, but not out. The Senate passed a matching bill in May.
"I'm an optimist by nature and I'm hoping we can see it on the floor," said Englebright. "But we are running out of time, the session is closing down."
If it's not voted on by Monday, that likely means - at least for this year - MMA's once again, down for the count.