More Good News: Senate Bill to Legalize MMA in New York Passes Overwhelmingly out of Tourism Committee

March 15, 2011

Following up on my post, Bill to Legalize MMA in New York Out of the Gate Early in the Senate, I am happy to report that  New York Senate Bill 1707A, i.e. the bill to authorize mixed martial arts in New York, overwhelmingly passed the Senate Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, by a vote of 13-1 this morning.

If last year is any indication, the bill will now go straight to the full Senate for a vote.

The overwhelming support for the bill is a good sign and so is the fact that the bill is through the Tourism Committee this early in the legislative session, i.e. approximately three (3) months before the bill was referred out of the Tourism Committee last year.

As I said in my earlier post:

While I hesitate to read too much into anything when it comes to New York politics, in my view, the early action on the bill in the Senate (in particular, before the budget process has been resolved) is a step in the right direction.

By the time the bill passed the Senate last year it was near the end of the legislative session, which did not give proponents of legalizing MMA in the Assembly too much time to use that leverage and publicity to work on pushing the bill in the Assembly.

Now, however, if the Senate can pass the bill in April or even early-May, there will be more time to force the issue in the Assembly.

If this happens, I think the New York grassroots movement can be a critical force by getting the issue on the radar of representatives (who are not otherwise sponsors of the bill or aware of the issue) up in Albany.

I will continue to monitor.

Fight Lawyer

Justin Klein is a partner of the law firm Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP in New York City where he concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and represents clients in the fight industry.  He regularly addresses current legal issues that pertain to combat sports, including efforts to legalize MMA in New York, at his Fight Lawyer website.  He is a licensed boxing manager with the New York State Athletic Commission as well as the founder and Chairman of the Board of the New York Mixed Martial Arts Initiative, a non-profit organization that gives inner city youth the opportunity to experience the emotional and physical benefits of martial arts training.  Justin lives in New York City where he trains in jiu jitsu and boxing.

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