May 20, 2009

Eleven is the magic number.

On May 27, the New York State Assembly's Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports will debate and vote on bill 2009-B, which would regulate the sport of mixed martial arts in the state.

Michael Kim, a representative from committee chair and bill sponsor Assemblyman Steve Englebright's office, informed of the news Wednesday morning.

"It will be a pretty significant first step," said Kim.

Assemblyman Jonathan Bing, a Democrat representing the county of New York, will present the arguments in favor of the bill.

Assemblyman Bob Reilly, a Democrat representing Albany and Saratoga counties, will present the arguments opposing the bill. Mr. Reilly has been a vocal critic of the sport and last month released a document to committee members that outlined his arguments against legalizing the sport.

Out of 21 committee members, 11 votes are needed to pass the bill out of committee with a favorable review. If it passes, it then heads to the Codes Committee (for bills with legal implications) followed by the Ways and Means Committee (for bills with fiscal implications). Both committees will vote on the bill before passing it to the Assembly floor for a general vote.

A Senate companion bill to the MMA legislation is currently in its Cultural Affairs Committee.

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