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Albany legislators pressured by Cuomo to get laws passed

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Albany lawmakers continued their marathon meetings Wednesday to advance major legislation – with gay marriage and rent control laws still on the agenda for Thursday.

Legislators are under pressure to reach an agreement before the session ends Monday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, however, warned that the session won’t be over “until the people’s business is done.”

While the Democrat-led Assembly passed Cuomo’s bill legalizing same-sex marriage late Wednesday night, the real battle will be in the GOP-controlled Senate, where at least one more Republican is needed to help the bill pass. Party members plan to discuss the bill again Thursday, and the Senate could vote on it Friday.

In other issues:

•The Assembly also voted late Wednesday to extend rent regulation laws that affect 1.1 million rental units in the city until 3 p.m. Friday. Democrats want the laws strengthened in favor of tenants, while Republicans would rather renew the current laws and tie the issue to a bill to cap property taxes.

Despite the laws potentially expiring, negotiations are expected to resume.

•The repeal of a payroll tax that gives the MTA $1.4 billion annually seems unlikely to happen.

While the Senate passed a bill Wednesday to repeal the tax, implemented in 2009 to help the cash-strapped MTA, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said it would likely not be voted on in the Assembly due to a lack of support.

The transit agency says the tax is “vital” to run commuter trains, subways and buses.

This story has been updated since its original publication.

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