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Albany Lawmakers Inch Toward Rent Regulations Deal

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As state lawmakers in Albany worked into Wednesday night on a long-term deal on the city's rent regulations, they passed yet another extension bill.

Legislative leaders held a closed meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo for about two hours Wednesday, and emerged saying they finalized plans to wrap up their now-extended session.

The legislators would not reveal specifics, but said they were working out technical issues with the bill language.

"We have a couple of issues in the rent bill, but over all I think it's okay, and there are no new issues, or no new items coming on," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The new bill is expected to raise the threshold for removing apartments from rent stabilization to $2,500 a month, up from $2,000.

Tenants who make more than $200,000 a year would pay market rent.

Currently, the income ceiling is $175,000.

The agreement will also include a tax credit for housing developers.

The rent deal was also expected to include a statewide property tax cap, but lawmakers were still working Wednesday on when the cap would expire.

In addition to the city's rent laws, legislative leaders also worked Wednesday on components of a bill that would provide mandated relief to local governments outside the city.

A bill reinstating the power plant citing law was said to be floor-ready on Wednesday, as well as a plan to raise SUNY and CUNY tuition $300 annually over five years.

Meanwhile, the State Senate may hold as early as Thursday a vote to legalize same-sex marriage.

Dueling demonstrations for and against the measure flooded the halls of the state capitol on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, the senate was believed to be one vote shy of passing the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said Wednesday he was still working on a deal with Governor Andrew Cuomo for enough protections for religious groups. Senate Republicans would then decide whether to vote on the bill.

"My colleagues and counsel's office are looking very closely at the religious protections, and I think they're walking through that. And once we have that final legislation we will then discuss it with the conference," said Skelos.

Silver said the assembly, which has already passed a bill, was willing to vote on any chapter amendment dealing with religious protections.

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