It's February 2 and the 2016 legislative session has only been underway for a few weeks, yet here we are with the MMA Bill already past one of the three necessary hurdles before becoming law (the Assembly vote and the governor's signature are the other obstacles). Last year the Senate didn't get the MMA Bill done until March 24, so today's passage is almost two months ahead of schedule.
This is perhaps the surest sign we have that, since Governor Andrew Cuomo included MMA in his budget proposal, thereby putting a March 31 deadline on things, the legislature is keen on acting on this issue sooner rather than later so they can get it done outside of the budget.
As of right now, the Assembly's version of the bill is nestled in the Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee, where it must pass through before it can be seen by the Ways and Means and Codes Committees and then go to the floor for a vote. Committee Chair Assemblywoman Margaret Markey has yet to reschedule the hearing on injuries in combative sports she announced then postponed in December, but there isn't much fear of her stalling. She has to do what her boss, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, tells her to do, and if he wants the MMA Bill tackled, it gets tackled. The question now, then, is when - when will the Assembly move on it?
Rest assured, I will keep you up to date on that.