State Temporarily Extends Rent Regulations for New Yorkers
By Kiratiana Freelon on June 17, 2011 7:57pm |
By Jill Colvin
MANHATTAN — Rent regulations for more than 1 million New York City residents were extended temporarily Friday evening after the State Senate reconvened in a bizarre do-over.
After two days of sharply worded threats and statements, rent regulations had appeared as though they would continue to hang in the balance after the Senate adjourned just after 5 p.m. Friday with no vote.
But in a strange turn of events, the legislative body was suddenly called back into session so that members could hold the vote.
"Senate passes Rent Regulation Extender. The world is safe for renters...at least until Tuesday at Midnight #Rentreform," tweeted Brooklyn’s State Sen. Kevin Parker after the vote.
The bill reinstates the regulations retroactively and will expire at midnight Monday, Austin Shafran, a spokesman for the Senate Democratic Conference said.
The measure had been on the verge of being passed Wednesday, but was defeated late that night when many Democrats voted 'no' in an effort to ramp up pressure to pass tougher rent regulations, which Republicans oppose.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo bashed the decision as a "betrayal of the one million tenants living in rent protected apartment." He later threatened to keep the Senate in session through the weekend until an extension passed.
Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson said after the vote he was confident Democrats would succeed in amping up regulations before the session ends.
"With Governor Cuomo’s strong statement that we are making progress in negotiations, I am encouraged we can achieve the stronger rent regulations tenants deserve," he said in a statement.
The Senate did not vote on the proposed marriage equality bill, which was passed by the Assembly Wednesday, leaving two key issues still up in the air.
The legislative session is scheduled to close Monday.