NY Marriage Equality Update: Speculation on Late Night Vote, Plus Lots of Links
The New York Senate stood at ease just after 5 pm EDT for "an hour, hour and a half."
There is still no word on if and when a marriage equality bill will be voted on, but am seeing several Twitter sources reporting that there's a push to finish the session late night tonight, so any voting on a marriage bill is likely to happen later tonight after several other issues are addressed.
I know a lot of people are anxious for news on this. We'll bring it to you when we have it.
In the meantime, here are the major media updates from this afternoon:
While the bill technically needs just one more vote to pass the 62-member Senate, some political analysts speculate that no single senator would be willing to cast the deciding vote.
"If there is an announcement prior to the vote, it will not be just one senator. No one wants to be the 32nd vote," said Dan Weiller, a spokesman for Empire State Pride Agenda, New York's largest gay-rights group.
Sen. Jim Alesi of Rochester, the first Republican senator to express support for same-sex marriage, predicted last week that the measure would pass with 35 votes.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver spoke to the Times Union:
Silver said he was waiting on the Senate and a discussion with his conference before he took any action on Senate-sponsored amendments to the same-sex marriage bill that the Assembly passed last week.
“We can do that tonight…It’s up to my conference,” Silver said. “We have seen a copy. We don’t have it. It’s not a final, signed-off, copy. It contains religious protections for religious organizations. It reinforces it a little better.”
But he refused to predict whether the Senate would vote on the actual bill. Asked for his thoughts on whether that chamber would also be able to conclude its work today, he said, “I have no Senate expectations at all.”
Azi Paybarah at Politcker NY speculates about the three ways things could go from here.
Greg Sargent at The Plum Line notes that Conservatives have run out of anti-gay arguments.
City Room floats the late night theory:
An important caveat: In Albany at the frantic end of a legislative session, commitments by lawmakers to do something at a certain time have a way of unraveling, so it remains to be seen whether the decision actually comes Thursday. Mr. Cuomo and legislative leaders have yet to put the finishing touches on some weighty issues that they hoped to finish before taking up the marriage issue, notably a cap on property tax increases and an extension and bolstering of rent regulations.
But Mr. Skelos was fairly definitive in his comments about marriage Thursday morning, and said the other legislative matters were “on track.”
Could the decision on marriage come after midnight?
“We’re not going to work under time constraints,” Mr. Skelos said. “We’ll do it when the conference is ready.”
Jimmy Vielkind at Capitol Confidential speculates on which Republicans might support the bill.
Finally, Republican Senator James Alesi, who is supporting the bill, says that it will be the last thing done:
“Regardless of how many people in the conference can’t vote for this or won’t vote for this, collectively it would be difficult not to bring it to the floor right now. I think the repercussions would not be worth not bringing it to the floor.”
Folks up in Albany are worn out, and just want to get this thing passed and through. Amen. Let's get it done.