Senator Mark Grisanti is pushing to legalize mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York State. New York and Connecticut are the only states that do not sanction it. The sport has grown in popularity, especially among young men, and its events bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue and other economic activity according to a new study.
The State Senate has passed a bill each of the last four years that would end the ban on mixed martial arts in New York. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has opposed the measure on the grounds that MMA is too violent, and has kept it from coming to a vote in his chamber.
The latest bill to clear the state Senate had 64 Assembly co-sponsors including encouraging words from Governor Andrew Cuomo.
But Speaker Silver has never allowed a vote.
One of the apparent voices of dissent working behind the scenes in Albany is Culinary Workers Local 226, a 60,000-member union based in Las Vegas.
“Today’s economic impact study of Mixed Martial Arts in New York State reaffirms the need to pass legislation to legalize MMA,” says Senator Grisanti. “My Senate colleagues have successfully passed this bill, which I have co-sponsored, every year since I have been in office. Once the legislature is back in session in January, it is my hope that the Assembly will bring this legislation to the floor. With an estimated $33 million in new revenue for Upstate New York and $68 million statewide on the line, the Assembly must take action on this legislation.”