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State Senate to vote on rent regs, but gay marriage still unclear

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After negotiating throughout the week, the State Senate was expected to vote late Thursday night to renew rent regulations four years, cap property taxes and raise tuition at SUNY schools. A final vote had not taken place as of press time.

The fate of the legalization of same-sex marriage less clear.

The bill was being held up by a small group of Republican senators concerned about protection for religious groups and the political fallout of voting in favor of it.

Although the Republican-dominated Senate has been reluctant to even bring the bill to a vote, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said he expected a decision to be made late Thursday, though he would not specify exactly when, or if it would happen by midnight.

“We're not going to work under time constraints," he told reporters.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said he remained optimistic lawmakers will come to an agreement on religious protections and pass the measure before they break for a lengthy recess.

While the bill technically needs just one more vote to pass the 62-member Senate, some political analysts speculate that no single senator would be willing to cast the deciding vote.

"If there is an announcement prior to the vote, it will not be just one senator. No one wants to be the 32nd vote," said Dan Weiller, a spokesman for Empire State Pride Agenda, New York's largest gay-rights group.
 

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