After a week of waiting, finally some action in Albany. Not only has the language of the so-called "Big Ugly" omnibus bill been released, but the much heralded religious exemption amendment to Governor Cuomo's marriage equality bill has been let out into the wild. And they both will be getting a vote tonight! Watch it live right here:

Watch live streaming video from nysenate at

[Update 6:46 p.m.: The State Senate Twitter feed notes, "To all of our new followers: We know you are here for the #SSM vote. Please be advised it will be quite a while before that bill is acted on."]

The omnibus—you can read all of it here if you like—covers property tax cap, rent control and mandate relief. We are still reading it but so far it seems that there is a solid compromise in the realm of rent control. While the Republicans wanted the deregulation threshold to stay at an income of $175,000 with a rent of $2,000 per month, the new legislation and the Democrats wanted those numbers increased to $300,000 a year and $3,000 a month. The new law would make it $250,000 a year with the rent threshold increased to $2,500 a month.

Another interesting thing in the big ugly is what seems to be a Spitzer clause that says it "Expires Jan 1, 2015 or upon the departure of the 56th governor, whichever comes first." However Cuomo says that is really just regarding his appointees.

But we all knew the Big Ugly would come to a vote at some point.

The really big news of the afternoon is that not only has religious exemption amendment been released (you can read it below) but now Senate majority leader Dean Skelos says that it will come to an up-down vote, very possibly later tonight (and just in time for Pride weekend). You'll be shocked to know that opponents to the bill are not amused.

Though for the past two weeks publicly the vote has been split down the middle at 31-31 there is an increasing sense that the measure has a few other supporters who have not spoken out on the matter. At least one Assemblyman has assured Capital Tonight that "if in fact its put to Sen floor there are the votes to pass it. Have known for a number of weeks 32 votes." One person who won't be voting for it? Staten Island Senator Andrew Lanza.