- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Some advocates for continuing rent controls in New York City were camping out Monday in the park by the state Capitol to protest what they say is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s inaction in strengthening those controls and protecting more than 2 million people.

The governor and legislative leaders were meeting Monday behind closed doors after agreeing last week to a five-day extension to give them more time to resolve differences.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said after the talks that some progress, but they don’t have an agreement yet.

Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said they were “getting closer” on many things and senior and midlevel staff were continuing to work Monday night.

One is affordable housing, which isn’t just the city’s rent-stabilized apartments, Flanagan said. It includes the property tax cap and providing tax rebates in upstate New York and on Long Island.

About 50 people planned to sleep in the Albany park and want a long-term extension of rent controls that would further limit the ability of landlords to charge higher rents. Organizers said they had permission from Albany authorities and others will gather Tuesday morning to rally.

The park across from the statehouse is where dozens of protesters camped for weeks in 2011 until rousted by Albany police, who pepper sprayed some of them after a judge issued an order allowing the city to remove the tents. The group demonstrated against government programs and policies they say favor the rich.

The Legislature, which was scheduled to adjourn for the year last week, was instead scheduled to return to Albany later Tuesday to work on unfinished issues.

Flanagan declined to say whether they would adopt another extension, with the first one scheduled to expire Tuesday night. “I think, we are, people are negotiating in good faith,” he said.

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