Thursday, June 4, 2015

The New York MMA Bill Might Be Undergoing Some Dramatic Changes


There are seven working days left in the 2015 legislative session and the MMA bill still needs six more votes to pass, and with the sands in the hourglass running out, Majority Leader Joe Morelle - the man in charge of getting it done - might be adding some provisions to the bill to win over some of the undecideds. What's he going to add and how will it affect things when the bill is signed into law? Well, no text of the changes to the bill (designated A02604) is available yet, but this is what we know:

  • The scope of the provisions of the bill will be expanded to cover more than just pro MMA; boxing, wrestling, martial arts and amateur MMA will be subject to greater safety regulations.
  • A health insurance program, paid for by promoters, may be added. This would cover major injuries incurred while competing.
  • There might be some sort of carve-out for funding a study on brain injuries.
Since we can't yet see exactly how the changes to the bill will read, we can only speculate on what the above changes will mean and how they'll impact the MMA community (and speculation is the enemy of facts). However, we do know that we don't want what happened in Connecticut to happen here, i.e., a poison pill in the statute making it completely unfeasible for pro MMA events to occur. Majority Leader Morelle will have to perform a delicate balancing act, keeping the bill viable while doing what it takes to secure votes. But apparently changes are what's needed to get the billed passed.
“One of the issues that has been raised by some of the opponents is the health, safety and welfare of the participants,” Morelle said. “So as I’ve had conversations with some of those folks who have been reluctant to sign on to the bill: What they’ve said is if you could design a better system for participants, it might increase the likelihood they would support it.”
Senator Joseph Griffo is said to be on board with making changes to the version of the MMA bill that was approved by the Senate earlier in the session. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rumor is they are tossing around "no elbows to the head of a downed opponent".