Dean Skelos Psychs Everyone Out
June 17th, 2011
The Senate reconvened and passed a rent extender bill after Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos angrily brought an end to session before a vote could be taken. After a very quick vote Skelos who looked disheveled and bit defeated said, “sometimes life isn’t easy.” Sources say Cuomo threatened to force the Senate into immediate special session if Skelos did not reconvene and pass the extender. Session had to be started a new–the room stood for the pledge of allegiance, a moment of silence was held etc.. Democrats were clearly confused and insisted that they were ready to vote on and pass the extender before Skelos ended session the first time. A tweet quoting Kevin Parker apparently led Skelos to believe that Democrats would not vote for the deal and called the vote off even though Cuomo had threatened to hold legislators in special session until they passed an extender. To be fair, a number of Democrats were being coy and would not reveal to me before the vote whether they would vote for the extender despite the fact that assurances had apparently been made that Democrats would deliver the votes on the bill. Michael McKee of the Tenants PAC was certain before the vote that Democrats would deliver the needed votes.
The Democrats had a chance of heart earlier in the day and decided to vote for the extender when they had assurances that Cuomo had threatened the real estate industry with declaring an emergency and putting rent laws back in the hands of the city council, who everyone assumes would be very pro tenant.
When Democrats voted down the rent extender earlier in the week they say it sent a message to Skelos and Cuomo that they needed to be part of the negotiations. I have been told by a number of sources that there has yet to be substantive negotiation on a bill to strengthen and renew the rent laws. A number of insiders expect that to only happen on Sunday night. However, Democrats are encouraged that Cuomo took forceful action to bring the real estate industry to the table and to consider concessions. Sen. Adriano Espaillat said he felt his initial no vote, “rattled some cages.”
Cuomo’s office has not returned call for comment.By David King on June 17, 2011, 6:36 pm
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