New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finally spoke to reporters about the progress--or lack thereof--made in finalizing same-sex marriage legislation on Monday night. The state Senate passed laws renewing the regulation of rent-controlled apartments, capping property taxes for home owners and raising tuition at state universities, but leadership stopped short of scheduling a vote on the same-sex law. The governor offered some generic encouragement initially. “I think we are on the cusp of historic progress in this state, and that’s what I think is important,” Cuomo told the Albany Times Union. “If we achieve what we’re talking about achieving, it would be really profound progress for the state.”
However, when pressed by reporters on specific progress made in the same-sex marriage debate, Cuomo renewed his previous statement of confidence that a bill would make it to the floor--he told reporters, "I believe it will be brought for a vote. I believe it should be brought for a vote, and I'm cautiously optimistic when it comes for a vote, it'll pass."
Azi Paybarah at The New York Observer's Politicker NY blog reports that Cuomo and proponents of the legislation have no intention of bringing a bill to the floor they expect may fail:
Echoing the message Mayor Michael Bloomberg brought to Albany last Monday, Cuomo said: “I believe the people are entitled to a vote and let the elected officials stand up and say yea or nay. I believe that’s how democracy works and I believe the state is entitled to a vote, on this issue.”
I asked if that’s a change in his strategy.
“We early on said we’re not going to advance a bill unless we’re confident that it has a good chance of success,” Cuomo said. “Not that you know it’s going to succeed, because you never know until the vote is actually cast. But we’ve reached the point, the threshold where we believe there was a high likelihood of success, we felt good about the chances of success, so then we moved the bill.”
The Senate leadership is making amendments to the bill's language around religious restrictions, says Captial Tonight, but advocates of the legislation gathered in Albany remain optimistic.
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