Lawmakers to vote on big issues Thursday; no word on gay marriage
After drawn-out negotiations all week, Albany lawmakers are expected to finally vote on the renewal of rent regulations and a cap on property taxes Thursday, clearing the way for one last piece of major legislation to be decided: same-sex marriage.
As of late Wednesday, language was still being hammered out that would ensure rent regulations do not expire for 1 million apartments in the city for another four years. Under the proposal by Assembly Democrats, the threshold for conversion to market rate would increase from $2,000 to $2,500, while the maximum income level for a tenant would rise from $175,000 to $200,000.
In addition, bills to cap property taxes at 2 percent for five years and allow SUNY to raise its tuition by $300 were also ready to go, said Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
He was less forthcoming about when the Senate could finally vote on legalizing gay marriage, an issue that has attracted hundreds of protestors on both sides of the aisles to Albany each day.
Skelos told reporters his members and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s team are still meeting over language in a bill. Some Republicans want to see stronger protections for religious and benevolent groups that may not want to hold gay weddings.
“Once we have final legislation, we will then discuss it in conference,” Skelos said, although he didn’t know when that would happen.
The Assembly already passed a gay-marriage bill last week, and should the bill reach a Senate vote, it would need at least one more Republican senator to vote “yes.”