BY Glenn Blain
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU
Wednesday, June 1st 2011, 4:00 AMALBANY - Minority-group lawmakers criticized Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday for not doing enough to boost New York's rent regulations - and insist it's time he "step it up."
Members of the influential Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus said Cuomo needs to be more aggressive in pushing the GOP-controlled state Senate to accept stronger tenant protections. "At this very moment, he should be coming out and making sure he exerts all the strength that he has, according to the polls, on Senate Republicans," state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan) told the Daily News yesterday.
Espaillat and other caucus members have scheduled a press conference in Albany today to urge Cuomo and Senate Republicans to adopt new rent regulations before the old ones expire this month.
"The clock is being run out," Espaillat warned.
Caucus members believe a push by Cuomo is the only way to overcome the opposition of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau), who supports only an extension of the existing rules.
Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly want stronger tenant protections and the elimination of vacancy decontrol - which allows landlords to deregulate vacant units with monthly rents of $2,000 or more.
Cuomo has released an online video calling for tougher rent rules.
"As he has said many times, the governor is absolutely is committed to extending and expanding rent regulations," said Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto.