Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced that a framework deal has been reached on several outstanding issues, including the city's rent regulations and mayoral control of schools. Zack Fink filed the following report.
ALBANY - After weeks of often contentious negotiations, Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press conference with the two legislative leaders to announce that a deal had finally been reached.
"This is a very robust agreement. It's a comprehensive agreement," Cuomo said.
The city's rent regulations, which affect more than 2 million tenants, will be strengthened and extended for another four years.
Rent has been the top priority for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who successfully fought off an attempt to include an education tax credit in the final agreement, which would have enabled students to attend private and parochial schools.
"At the end of the day, we all have an obligation to work together, seek negotiations and ultimately compromise," said state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan. "Because last time I checked, nobody ever gets everything they want, especially in government."
This was an extraordinary year in Albany, where the leaders in both houses were indicted on corruption charges. That left the governor to negotiate end-of-session deals with two relatively new and untested leaders.
"This was a very difficult year. There were extraordinary developments," Cuomo said. "I don't think you can find another year in the state's history where you saw the number of changes and the major changes that were made during the legislative year."
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had asked earlier this year for mayoral control of schools to be made permanent, ended up with just a one-year extension.
A tax abatement program for developers known as 421-a gets a six-month extension as stakeholders work on a larger deal that can be voted on next year.
"We talked about maybe doing a scaled-down agenda because it would be easier considering the circumstances. Both leaders rejected that," Cuomo said.
This is certainly not the first time Cuomo and legislative leaders have announced a framework deal before all the details have been ironed out. Insiders say the best-case scenario is that the bills get printed and voting begins on Wednesday.