Committee reverses decision from last year
ALBANY- The Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development voted to send the full Assembly a bill that would give the New York State Athletic Commission the ability to regulate and legalize the sport. The vote reverses the decision last year to block the legislation.
Assemblyman Jonathan Bing of Manhattan says the ruling would put controls on a sport that is practiced illegally in New York State, but legal in 38 states. Bing also says legalizing the sport will bring tax revenue to the state.
The opposition is led by Assemblyman Robert Reilly of suburban Albany who says it would promote a culture of violence and he is "not optimistic" about defeating the bill in the full Assembly.
A Senate committee is scheduled to vote next week.