Legislature to Reconvene Tuesday, Rent Regulation Laws Still on the Table
Lawmakers left the State Capitol for the weekend after passing a five-day extension of the city's rent regulations, but with plenty of other work still on their plates. State House Reporter Zack Fink filed the following report.
Activity came to a dull halt at the State Capitol on Friday after a temporary reprieve was passed for New York City’s two and a half million tenants who live in rent-regulated apartments.
The temporary extension gives negotiators a cooling off period.
"Quite frankly we've been up here for five, six days straight now. We are all mentally and emotionally and physically tired. Hopefully we can regroup, go back for Father's Day and come back strong and do the work of the people,” said Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright.
The legislative session was supposed to end Wednesday, but it was extended when state leaders could not lock down agreements on rent, mayoral control of schools and a number of other outstanding issues.
Lawmakers will return to the capitol Tuesday.
"We just wanted to have some more time to negotiate - whether it was Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. We still needed some time to talk. I don't think that is really relevant. We just wanted to give ourselves more time,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
The fight over rent is starting to bleed into the legislators' home districts. Republican senator Martin Golden, who has 36,000 rent-regulated apartments in his district, was the subject of this afternoon demonstration.
Sources say the new Assembly Speaker has been having trouble selling a potential deal to his Democratic members. He even turned down a minimum wage hike proposal.
Assembly Democrats counter that Governor Cuomo has been conspiring with Senate Republicans to weaken laws that protect tenants.
Cuomo's staff denies that is the case.
"Upshot is there have been good discussions with the governor. Hopefully the Assembly will come around. But I need to discuss all these issues with conference right now," said State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.
As discussions took place all week, the person who has been entirely out of view has been Governor Cuomo. He has not made any public comments to the Albany press since Wednesday of last week.