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New York News

NY Assembly Speaker Says Agreement On Rent Protections Is Near

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
Karen DeWitt
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New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie

The New York State Assembly held a brief session at the state capitol Monday to reauthorize remote meetings for 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaker Carl Heastie says it’s still possible a session will be held on more substantive issues, like raising taxes on the wealthy and protecting tenants, before 2020 ends. 

Speaker Heastie came to the state Capitol to lead the session, but most other lawmakers participated remotely. Heastie says several of his staff have come down with the virus, and he wants to continue to be cautious about in person gatherings. 

The Speaker says he is close to an agreement with Democrats who lead the Senate about enacting more rent protections for tenants impacted by the virus and unable to meet their monthly payments, as well as an extended moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.  

“Legislators want to show their constituents, particularly people who are suffering under the threat of eviction,” said Heastie. “Legislators want to show that they want to do their jobs.”

The Speaker says his majority party Democrats would also like to impose new taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents, so that New York can start closing a multibillion dollar pandemic-related budget gap. Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he wants to wait, though to see if Joe Biden, when he’s inaugurated as president in January, can get Republicans in Congress to agree to more federal aid to help New York.

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