MMA Absent from New York Governor's Business-Friendly Budget
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his executive budget plan today, along with the release of the plans details into the public record. Amidst impassioned pleas by the Governor to cut spending and make New York more business friendly, one notable absence among the budget's possible revenue raisers was a provision to sanction MMA in the Empire State.
New York's growing financial troubles are nothing new. Last year, former Governor David Paterson included a plan to sanction mixed martial arts as one of many actions to increase the state income. Governor Cuomo's budget has an even greater emphasis on future revenue raisers, but no mention of MMA.
During his presentation, Cuomo used dire language to describe the state's fiscal situation, describing New York as "functionally bankrupt." The goals for financial recovery are two fold: First, dramatic short term spending cuts to stabilize the state economy. And second, attempts to bring businesses and jobs back into New York.
"We can not cut our way out of this," said the Governor. "We have to grow our way out."
Cuomo stressed that the biggest part of job growth was to reform New York's image of being a state that is anti-business, and called for new ways to raise revenue and attract companies back into the Empire State's borders.
In the debate for sanctioning mixed martial arts in New York, one issue on the forefront is the number of locally owned MMA organizations that are forced to take part or all of their business to New Jersey and other states in the Mid-Atlantic region due to the lack of sanctioning. Regulated MMA in New York would seemingly fit well with the Governor's overall plan.
Representatives from the Governor's budget office were unable to speculate as to why MMA was left out of the budget this time around. Neither Cuomo nor his political representatives have made any statements for or against the regulation of the sport.
Cuomo did, however, stress that his budget, already laden with controversial budget cuts, needed to be passed quickly to save New York's next fiscal year. With the goal of quick passing in mind, it is possible that the Governor's staff wanted the budget to be free of any side issues that could further belabour the bill.
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