Fightin' Words

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MMA, New York, the Assembly and time

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) during a news

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) during a news conference at the Capitol. (May 20, 2013) (Credit: AP)

Eight calendar days remain, including today, until the New York State's legislative session comes to a close.

Not a lot of time left for the bill to legalize mixed martial arts to get passed, right? Well, to paraphrase a recent interview with Assemb. Matthew Titone from Staten Island, one day is like a lifetime in politics in Albany.

Still, the positive vibes from March when the bill roared through the State Senate by a vote of 47-14 seem to be dissipating. There's a growing sentiment that the bill will, once again, stall in the Assembly and not reach the floor for a full vote. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's mishandling of a sexual harassment case against Assemb. Vito Lopez combined with this year's new talking point from opposition that MMA is anti-women help fuel this sentiment.

But optimists can look at it like this: Of the 64 sponsors on the bill, 49 are Democrats, including Joe Morelle, the bill's chief sponsor and the Assembly Majority Leader. If enough of them and the swing Democrats can yell louder during their conference than the group of 35 Democrats who reportedly sent a letter to Silver voicing their opposition to the bill, there's a chance it could come to a vote.

If Silver does decide to move the bill forward, it would have to pass through three Assembly committees before it reaches the floor: Tourism, Codes and Ways and Means. It's possible that could happen in a matter of hours if they had a time crunch.

And, of course, it's also possible that we'll have to just take this year's stories and run them again next year with a few different names and numbers.

Tags: mma , new york , politics

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