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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Assembly Democrats dig in as tensions strain in Albany

ALBANY - The Assembly's Democratic majority dug in Friday against the Senate's Republicans and took a shot at Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as the extra-innings of the 2015 session lurched toward the most recent deadline for action on Tuesday.

"The message is: Stick together," said one Assembly Democrat after leaving the closed-door conference Friday.

The Democrat said the conference agreed to refuse to budge on their bill to renew the rent regulations that protect about 2 million New Yorkers, mostly in New York City.

 But that matches the public posturing this week, even as negotiations continued.

 The law that provides affordable rental housing lapsed this week, angering tenants and their advocates who are pressuring Democrats for action. Senate Republicans seek to add measures opposed by Assembly Democrats that would require residents to prove their income is moderate and that the apartment is their primary residence.

 In the closed-door conference Friday, the Democrats agreed not to make a deal on any other measure until the rent issue is settled, said the Democrat who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

 "We're all together, we're all united," said Assemb. Keith Wright (D-Manhattan) in a separate interview.

The Senate left town for the Father's Day weekend Thursday night. Cuomo and legislative leaders are planning to continue negotiations over the weekend that appear to have yielded little progress. Any deal could be voted into law Tuesday, on what is supposed to be a one-day close for the 2015 session that was scheduled to end a week before.

All sides have acknowledged that negotiations have been tense, and the extra days of session haven't helped.

When a reporter asked Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie Friday about Cuomo's recent comment that he's not linking issues such as $100 million in funding for an upstate distressed schools fund to his Education Tax Credit for nonpublic schools, the speaker raised an eyebrow.

"I would like to take the governor at his word. Shouldn't you?" Heastie said.

In the Assembly, a lone boo was emitted when Cuomo's name was mentioned in a bill, to a smattering of applause.




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