By Jon Campbell
While the Senate was in session, a group of New York City senators joined a few dozen protesters outside of the Senate chamber, calling on the majority party to extend and strengthen the state’s rent stabilization laws, which are set to expire tomorrow.
The protesters have been heard throughout the Capitol much of the past two days, with some organizing a sit-in outside of the governor’s office yesterday that led to a dozen arrests.
Democrats in both houses of the Legislature, mostly from the affected downstate area, have pushed for a bolstering of the rent laws, while Senate Republicans has signified repeatedly—as recently as this morning—that they are only in favor of an extension.
“This is an important issue to 2.5 million New Yorkers here in the state of New York,” said Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson. “It’s important to our economy, important to the moral compass of this conference. So we want to let our colleagues know across the aisle that the time is not tomorrow or the day after, the time is now.”
Sampson was joined by a handful of his Democratic colleagues, including Sens. Adriano Espaillat, Liz Krueger, Kevin Parker and Bill Perkins, all of New York City.
“We have lost hundreds of thousands of affordable units,” Krueger said. “There are whole areas of New York City where tenants literally are on the verge of not being able to afford their housing. This is New York City’s mortgage crisis. This is New York City’s future.”
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said earlier today that he expects the Senate to take up both a property-tax cap and an extension of rent regulations later this week.