Bills Sit on Lawmakers' Desks With Two Days Left of Session
The legislative session officially ends in two days, and there are still no deals on any of the major issues left on lawmakers' desks. That includes rent regulations for some 2.5 million New York City tenants which expires at midnight. Zack Fink filed this report.
As the hours pass without any deals in sight, the tone of the conversation began to take a more pointed turn.
This automated phone call went out to tenants in New York City urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to show leadership on the rent laws: "Governor Cuomo promised to fight for stronger rent laws, but now he is getting ready to cut a deal with Republicans."
Democrats in the Assembly said they have been victims of a nasty direct mail campaign in their districts urging them to support the education tax credit, which allows parents to take a tax deduction for sending children to private and parochial schools.
"Members are getting very annoyed that there is a propaganda campaign against them," said assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan. "Groups are sending out ten mailings per household."
Mostly what you're getting at the state Capitol, however, are private meetings and senators refusing to comment on what is going on behind closed doors.
"No, no, no, I have no sense of it," one senator said.
Asked about the rent laws, rank-file-senators say they really don't know.
"This is at the leader's level, but I do believe there have been discussions that have happened," said assemblywoman Catharine Young of Jamestown.
"Everything is on the table and everything is being talked about," said assemblyman Carl Marcellino of Long Island, "Our people tell us that they see movement."
Bills have been printed and are waiting on assembly members' desks to be voted on, just as soon as they get the word that the leaders have reached deals.
"Members and staff have been here all throughout the weekend, talking, working things out," said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder of Queens. "We've printed a number of bills which hopefully over the next couple of days we can start to vote on."
It's not just the rent laws, a controversial tax abatement for developers known as 421-a also expires, and later this month. So does mayoral control of schools. No deals on any of them.