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New York State Legislature Mulling Bill That Would Extend Eviction Moratorium To Jan. 15

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- After only a week in office, Gov. Kathy Hochul called the Legislature back to Albany to fix two hot potato problems inherited from Andrew Cuomo -- extending a pandemic-era ban on evictions and jump-starting the sale of marijuana.

It's safe to say that tens of thousands of tenants are going to be thrilled with the extension of the eviction moratorium, but as for landlords and Republican lawmakers, well, not so much. Landlords are going to sue to try to stop the governor in her tracks, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Wednesday.

There was applause when the state Senate gaveled into session just after noon for a special session called by Hochul. But the applause was not for the legislation they were called to deal with, but for Sen. Brian Benjamin, who next week will become the lieutenant governor.

But after just six minutes, the Senate adjourned.

"The senate will stand at ease," Deputy Majority Leader Sen. Michael Gianaris said.

As is the way in Albany, lawmakers went into backrooms to discuss the legislation to extend an eviction moratorium, seeking to find some way to please both tenants and landlords.

WEB EXTRA: See if you qualify for New York's emergency rental assistance

The bill extends the moratorium until Jan. 15, which gives the state more time to speed up distribution of $2.7 billion in stalled federal aid.

"We are not going to exacerbate what is already a crisis in terms of the homelessness problem. We are not going to allow people who through no fault of their own lost income, not able to pay and facing eviction," Hochul said.

The move came on the heels of a pro-landlord Supreme Court ruling last week that blocked a key section of New York's law because landlords had no way to challenge a tenant's hardship declaration. The new bill allows landlords who think their tenants have not suffered economic hardship to request a court hearing.

But landlords said the protections were insufficient.

"We are going to ask our attorney to make a motion to enforce the Supreme Court order and to stay the new legislation," said Joseph Strasburg of the Rent Stabilization Association, a landlord group.

Republicans quickly jumped on the bandwagon.

"The issue is that we have a ton of property owners many of whom are not wealthy. They're middle-income folks. They are cops, business owners, moms and dads, military veterans, who haven't received rent in almost two years," Sen. Rob Ortt said.

The governor also tried to get the state's stalled marijuana program up and running by naming people to the Cannabis Management Board, which pleased Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams.

"Bring the joints. It's time. Let's get this done," Adams said.

And in another development, Hochul added two more women to her team. Kathryn Garcia, the former city sanitation commissioner and mayoral candidate, was named director of state operations.

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