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Cuomo 'cautiously optimistic' on gay marriage vote

ALBANY -– With a vote on gay marriage rights again failing to occur, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he is nevertheless holding out hope that the measure will get through the GOP-controlled State Senate.

Asked Thursday whether any additional senators suggested to him that they will vote for the bill, Cuomo said, “I’m cautiously optimistic. Let me just say that. I don’t want to get into private conversations that I’ve had.’’

There had been increasing talk that the bill, which for days has been one vote shy of passage in the Senate, could be brought onto the Senate floor long after late television newscasts have ended and newspaper deadlines have blown by. The vast majority of Senate Republicans will not be voting for the bill, and lawmakers privately say that if there has to be a vote, they would rather have it while most New Yorkers are asleep rather than in the light of day.

Asked if such a middle-of-the-night vote is a cynical act, Cuomo said, “I’ll leave that to the Senate to decide how to do it.’’

The Senate adjourned late Thursday before any vote could occur.

Besides gay marriage, major remaining bills -- a property tax cap, New York City rent control, a state university tuition increase and local government mandate relief -- have yet to be made public as lawmakers hope to end their 2011 session today.

“We’re working through the details, but I wouldn’t call them problems," the governor said in an interview. "These are very big things that we’re trying to get done, and they’re complicated and they’re important, so we want to do them right. But I wouldn’t say we’ve hit any obstacles. Just a lot of details to work through.’’

Cuomo did not elaborate.

The handful of fence-sitting Republican senators continued their ruminating ways Thursday evening. Buffalo Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, who sources said met with Cuomo for 40 minutes  during the day, said he has still not decided a position on the bill.

“I’m working on it. I’ll get there soon,’’ Sen. Stephen M. Saland, a Dutchess County Republican, said Thursday evening when asked for his position.

-- Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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