Albany lawmakers moved feverishly Monday on the final scheduled day of the legislative session to wrap up major issues, including legalizing same-sex marriage and renewing rent control laws. However, their failure to reach an agreement means they’ll return to the Capitol on Tuesday.
“There’s no deal on anything at this point,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told reporters, adding, “I expect to be here one day at a time.”
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos emerged from a meeting with Silver and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, their first together in weeks, to say a gay marriage bill is not dead, although it was unclear when it would be voted on by the full Senate.
The bill, which is supported by Cuomo and passed the Democrat-led Assembly last week, appears to be just one “yes” vote away from passing in the Senate. Additional Republican support is required, and some members remain publicly undecided unless Cuomo can guarantee religious groups increased protection if they refuse to marry same-sex couples.
“We have staff people and members discussing with the governor religious protections,” Skelos told reporters. “They’re still working on them. Once they’re prepared, then we’ll let you know what they are.”
Meanwhile, Cuomo introduced another temporary extension of rent regulation laws that were set to expire midnight Monday. Democrats want the laws to have stronger protection for tenants, but Republicans are against a proposal to extend rent protections to people making $300,000 a year from the current $175,000 a year.
“We’re looking to protect lower- and moderate-income families, but we’re not looking to protect the wealthy in New York City,” Skelos said.