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Session extended, as lawmakers try to reach deals

Karen DeWitt

The legislative session is expected to  continue for at least longer than scheduled, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders remain gridlocked on extending New York City’s rent laws, and have not settled a host of other issues. The session was supposed to end Wednesday.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, following a private meeting with Cuomo, says he expects the session to last at least another day, as they continue to struggle with renewing the now expired rent regulations.

Heastie concedes that a bill by the Assembly Housing Committee chairman to extend the laws for just eight months might eventually be accepted if there’s no better alternative.

“That will probably be looked upon as a last resort,” Heastie said. “To at least try to give some comfort back to people who are not sure what’s going to happen with their homes.”    

Senate Republicans have passed an eight-year extension of the rent laws, with no changes, and in a separate bill, are seeking income verification of tenants -- something Democrats, who want stronger tenant protections say they won’t accept.

Other outstanding issues for the session include an education tax credit and criminal justice reforms. 

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.