Thursday, July 1, 2010

Assemblyman Englebright's Take on why MMA was Not Legalized in New York this Year -- Reading Between the Lines

I just read this post over at MMAjunkie.com with an interview with Assemblyman Englebright, who is the sponsor of the bill to legalize MMA in New York, and was particularly interested in this quote:

"If we were able to get it to the floor, we'd probably pass it with Republican votes," Englebright said. "But there is a desire, I think, on the part of many of the members of our Democratic majority to resolve this matter satisfactorily within our own [party] before submitting it to the uncertainties of a debate."
So, stated differently, the bill would pass if the full Assembly had the opportunity to vote -- as it should, but the majority will prevent that from happening until there is a consensus (or satisfactory resolution of the matter whatever that means), which, given Assemblyman Reilly's vehement opposition, there likely will never be.

I had previously speculated that the Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, was opposed to legalizing MMA because the bill stalled out last year in the Ways & Means Committee and because it was not included in the Assembly's proposed budget.  I had indicated that the Assembly Speaker's opposition to the bill would likely be fatal.  Well, the Assembly Speaker has made clear that he is opposed to the bill and that would explain the fact that another year will pass with a prohibition still in place. 

Specifically, as set forth in this video (at about minute 2:20), the Speaker states that he will let the bill go to conference, but that he is not "enamored" with the idea of mixed martial arts in the state.  Reading between the lines, Silver is saying that the bill will still sit in Committee but that, in reality, because he is opposed, it has no probability of success.   

While I appreciate that Assemblyman Englebright is optimistic about the bill's passage down the road, I would like to know how he intends to persuade the Speaker that MMA is not the barbaric activity that O'Reilly claims--or how he otherwise intends to get the Speaker on board. 

Until the Speaker is persuaded, unfortunately, the bill has virtually no chance of success even if the Governor is on board and the Senate is on board--as they were this year. 

For more on the "why," check out Seymour Lachman's book, "Three Men in A Room." 

Fight Lawyer