Once again the New York Assembly has refused to allow a vote on the bill that would legalize pro MMA in the state.
After six months of cautious optimism – an optimism that prompted the UFC to reserve a December date at Madison Square Garden – the effort to pass a bill that would repeal the 1997 ban died today when time and support for the legislation ran out.
In terms of particulars, here are the facts:
- Sheldon Silver, the man widely credited with holding back the MMA bill in previous sessions, was arrested on corruption charges earlier this year.
- His replacement as Speaker of the Assembly was Carl Heastie, who had supported the sport in the past.
- The minimum number of votes needed for the MMA bill to get to the floor for a vote was 76, and as of last Friday there were 78 “yes” votes in favor.
- The legislative session was scheduled to end last Wednesday, but due to discussions over other much bigger issues, the session was extended to today.
Here’s the Politics on the Hudson blog with some insight into where it all went wrong:
“My big challenge today is that a number of members who are counted as supporters were just unavailable today because of the scheduling, that we weren’t expected to be here this long,” Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County, the bill’s sponsor, told Gannett’s Albany Bureau.
“And it’s really complicated efforts to get to 76. I think it’s looking less likely as the day wears on.”
Ultimately, the fight was called off, and now we’re back where we started from.
Dana White summed things up perfectly with this tweet:
The corruption in NY politics is DISGUSTING!!!!
— Dana White (@danawhite) June 25, 2015