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NY MMA bill headed to round 2 of the Assembly - 05/01/13

The next hurdle in the fight to legalize mixed martial arts, in New York State, could come as early as next week.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, D-Rochester, said Wednesday the head of the Tourism Committee would like to talk to him about the issue next week. The bill currently sits in that committee and would need to be approved by members of the committee before it moves on.

The bill is likely to have to make it through a handful of committees before it reaches the floor for vote.

This is however the farthest a bill to lift the ban on the sport has gotten in the assembly. The state senate passed the measure earlier this year, the third consecutive year that has happened.
This time around there is wide ranging support in the assembly to legalize the sport. The bill carries 64 sponsors and only needs 76 votes to pass and become law.

"This is a bi-partisan bill," said Morelle Wednesday. "It has support on both sides of the aisle."

While in Albany earlier this year officials for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the sports largest organization, said an upstate event could generate as much as $11 million in economic revenue for the region it is held in.

A Siena Poll released earlier this month showed 43% of voters say they want the sport legalized, while 33% say they do not. Another 24% "did not know" or "refused" the question, the poll stated.


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