ALBANY -- With a stalemate festering, senators said Thursday they would leave the Capitol this week without resolving rent control and other high-profile issues and not return till Tuesday, as the 2015 legislative session went further into overtime.
"We'll stay late tonight to continue passing bills . . . and come back Tuesday," said Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), after a lengthy closed-door Republican strategy session.
Lawmakers were scheduled to conclude the 2015 legislative session Wednesday but still had not resolved some key issues. Rent-control laws covering some 2 million tenants have expired. But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders have been unable to find a way to close down the session in an orderly, productive fashion. As a stopgap, rent control will be extended till midnight Tuesday, officials said.
Cuomo had Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) shuttle back and forth to his offices several times Thursday, preferring to meet with each separately rather than bringing them all together.
"People have different ideas, different constituencies, different ideologies," Heastie said when asked about stumbling blocks to a settlement.
Struggling to find a compromise, Cuomo and leaders discussed adding a hodgepodge of unrelated proposals to combine in a package with enough goodies for rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans to support, legislators said.
The potential mix included amendments to gun-control laws and teacher evaluations; more charter schools, more money for upstate schools and a tax deduction for donations to private schools, and property-tax adjustments to consider household incomes.
But now that the rent deadline is blown, legislators said the only pressure to resolve things quickly is the desire to wind down a tumultuous session that saw the indictment of two house leaders, the ascension of Flanagan and Heastie, and the governor falling to his lowest standing in public opinion polls.