Reporting John Montone
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the Senate’s failure to renew the New York City rent control law before it expired Wednesday night is “unacceptable.”
The Democrat is threatening Thursday to force the Legislature into special session beyond Monday’s scheduled last day if no deal is struck.
In a game of brinksmanship, the Senate’s Democratic minority dominated by New York City senators refused to accept the Republican bill, which included none of the Democrats’ proposals.
Once the Democrats started voting against the Republican bill, upstate Republicans joined them. The bill to extend rent protections for 1 million tenants failed.
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The bill also jeopardizes a measure to cap the growth in property taxes. Cuomo linked the rent control bill pushed by New York City Democrats to the tax cap sought by Senate Republicans.
Meanwhile, New York City residents living in rent controlled apartments sat in limbo as they anxiously awaited lawmakers’ decision on the future.
If the extension isn’t approved, more than a million tenants will lose the protection against spikes in their rent. Approximately 2.5 million New Yorkers live in rent-stabilized apartments.
On their side in this battle is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who says New York has become a city of the rich and the poor.
“We have taken hundreds of thousands of affordable units off the rent rolls and made them into luxury housing,” said Silver.
Both Silver and Cuomo are looking to strengthen protections for tenants enjoying lower rent to help keep the middle class in the city.
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