Thursday, June 25, 2015

New York MMA Bill Status Update - 6.25.15


Though it seems very little got done yesterday in terms of legislative movement, the view from within is that today could be the last day of the session. What does that mean for the MMA bill? Here's what we know:

  • Conferences dealing with the Big Ugly have been dominating the Assembly's time and attention, with progress on other less-important bills slowing to a trickle. But it's anticipated that a sudden flurry of action will lead us to the end. The Assembly is slated to convene at 9:30am today for more conferences, so the afternoon should be when the hammer drops.
  • The MMA bill is still alive. However, the two obstacles it faces are the prospect of not having the requisite 76 Democratic conference votes due to absenteeism, and the short time frame that the bill has to get through the various committees. Ultimately, both obstacles can be overcome with support from Speaker Heastie - the only question is if he'll give it.
  • At around 1:30pm yesterday, the word came down that it was time to mobilize the MMA fanbase and bombard Speaker Heastie with calls, tweets and emails. That was done in a huge way. Here's a link to the open letter UFC champ Chris Weidman wrote to the Assembly. Apparently the phones in Speaker Heastie's office were ringing off the hook, so it's a safe bet that he now knows there's significant public interest in this issue.
  • As usual, you can keep an eye on the Assembly's bill agenda, and even check out the agendas for the committees, but if this thing happens it's going to happen fast and sudden, so those tools will likely be rendered moot.
If we've learned anything these last two weeks, it's that there's so many moving parts and - sadly - chaos in Albany that just about anything can happen. You can start a day thinking it will be the last of the session, and then disagreements and impasses have another week going by before things get done. But this is shaping up to be it. So if you want the MMA bill to pass, to have the UFC come to Madison Square Garden in December and Bellator come to the Barclays Center or wherever, reach out to Speaker Heastie and let him know you think he should lend the support he promised to the MMA bill. His number in Albany is 518-455-3791, his email is, and his Twitter handle is @CarlHeastie.

And keep your fingers crossed.

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