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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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