New York resident and fellow snarky MMA blogger Jim Genia clarifies a few things on what’s happening in New York right now:
- The sands in the hourglass have run out on legislative sessions, but the Assembly is still meeting to get a state budget done. The state budget is almost three months overdue.
- The governor is all for the legalization of MMA, and would sign the bill if the Assembly passes it.
- The governor included MMA in his part of the budget proposal, as did the Senate, so if the bill doesn’t get passed to legalize the sport, the budget proposal – once approved – would accomplish the same thing.
- Matt Serra was sent by Zuffa to Albany yesterday. Zuffa thinks it’s close.
- I was told by an insider that it’s close. This person knows their stuff, and will likely play an important role in MMA in New York.
- The New York State Athletic Commission, while not entirely prepared to hit the ground running, has been doing some work to get ready.
- According to the text, if the bill going through the legislature passes, then there will be no more underground shows. If the bill attached to the budget proposal passes instead, underground shows are on like Donkey Kong.
The cool thing about MMA in the emergency budget is that very few politicians are going to vote it down considering how crazy overdue it is. Check it out: even MMA’s mortal enemy, Bob Reilly, wouldn’t try to fight it in that form:
The state budget is now more than 80 days late. Reilly said if the legislation were included in the budget, he would have a hard time voting against it. “We wouldn’t have a choice,” Reilly said. “It’s very difficult to vote against $140 billion budget because of $2 million.”
I don’t know whether to be happy about these kinds of loopholes or sad that it takes that kind of political contortionism to get anything done.