Heastie: Yesterday’s Deal Was Really A Framework
A day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s top legislative leaders announced broad compromises on key end-of-session issues, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told reporters no agreement had been officially finalized.
Bills for issues ranging from rent control for New York City and the surrounding area, as well as a $1.3 billion property tax rebate program, a real-estate tax abatement and mayoral control for New York City schools are yet to be printed as language continues to be haggled over.
“We’re still working on language,” Heastie said outside of his office. “See, it wasn’t a deal yesterday, it was a framework, because there are still some outstanding issues. There were some items that weren’t settled. It was really about letting people have an idea about what items will be discussed if at the point we reach a final deal. There’s still a lot of outstanding issues on each of the items.”
Heastie has not told his conference members whether they should prepare to stay in Albany through the rest of the week, he said.
The details of the framework were announced at a Red Room news conference before Heastie or Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan had briefed their conferences on the details.
Assembly Democrats met for several hours on Tuesday to sort out the details of the framework.
“There were some things brought up that we’re trying to finish,” Heastie said.
Heastie this afternoon indicated negotiations will continue, despite the framework announcement.
“We tried to be very careful and say the word framework because there was no final deal,” Cuomo said. “As I said, I couldn’t say yes until I spoke to the final conference.”
It is not unusual for outlines of large, packaged compromises in Albany to be announced for the details have been sorted out, even as top aides and lawmakers work out the final language.
But the negotiations have dragged on a week after the legislative session was due to conclude and have been especially nettlesome for two new legislative leaders and Cuomo.
Rent control expired once again at midnight after state lawmakers and Cuomo signed off on a five-day extension after the laws lapsed week for several days.
The framework includes a four-year extension for rent control as well as the state’s cap on property tax increases, which will include changes that fall short of what local governments and school districts had wanted.
Cuomo had initially linked stronger rent control laws to the passage of an education tax credit, which was pushed heavily by Senate Republicans and private-school backers.
In the end, the tax credit was dropped in favor of a $250 million reimbursement program for mandated services at private schools.
Heastie indicated that Cuomo’s stance on rent control — generally closer to the Assembly Democrats — and support for the tax credit made things more difficult.
“I think trying to be on the side with the Senate on their big issue and be with us on our big issue, it caused a conflict for him,” Heastie said. “It was one of the reasons I would say we stumbled a little bit. There were a lot of fruitful discussions, but we’re at a place where there’s a framework. But it’s not done.”
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