Friday, June 3, 2011

Troubling Statements from Assembly Sponsor of Bill to Legalize MMA in New York

I just read an article, The fate of mixed martial arts bill uncertain, and was troubled by Assemblyman Englebright's (the bill's sponsor and Chair of the Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee where the bill originates in the Assembly) comments because they are telling and signify the bigger issue with legalization here in New York.

Specifically, he says:
There is a healthy controversy. There are very concerned members of the majority who can’t support it this year, as they could not support it in years past, . . . I imagine we’ll have similar blockage or stoppage, . . . But, you never know. There are quite a few new faces in the chamber this year. I haven’t seen a sea change, but I have seen subtle changes.
As I have posted before, the majority -- the democratic leadership in the Assembly -- is allowing the bill to stall out in Committee before reaching a floor vote, where it in Englebright's opinion should have enough support to pass.  This is the "blockage" and "stoppage" that Englebright is referring to. 

If you follow my blog, you will recall that last year Assemblyman Englebright said essentially the same thing:
"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."
Hopefully, Englebright, as the bill's sponsor and a member of the senior leadership of his party, can convince the other members of his majority to let the bill go to the floor for an up or down vote (i.e. let the so-called democratic process play out). 

Otherwise, we may be having this same conversation one-year from now....

One last note, I am told that the bill will be taken up in the Tourism Committee next week and that there are a significant number of assembly members pushing the Assembly Speaker to let the bill go straight to the floor for an up or down vote after passage out of the Tourism Committee. 

Fight Lawyer