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Assemblyman Lavine, thank you very much for joining us.
STATE REP. CHARLES LAVINE (D), NEW YORK (via telephone): Well, thank you for having me on.
MADDOW: The way that I just explained that in terms of how things are unfolding, is that how you understand things are likely to go?
LAVINE: It was an accurate piece of reporting.
MADDOW: OK. In terms of what"s happening here. In 2009, the state Senate took this up and did not pass it. It lost by 14 votes, an unexpectedly large measure.
Now, under Republican control in the Senate, it looks like it may pass. Nobody is counting their chickens, but it might. What do you think has changed in two years?
LAVINE: I think there have been two major changes in terms of New York state. And one major change has been the acceptance of the fact that the public wants this. Not only does the public want this and accept this, the public has already moved past this.
To young people, it is a matter of amazement this is an issue at all.
And the writing is obviously on the wall.
The second major factor that contributes to this change is that Governor Andrew Cuomo has very skillfully established a group of stakeholders, core individuals, who are advocates. And they have worked in conjunction with each other. And that has caused a major difference in approach to the way senators were talked to and persuaded.
And a great credit must go to New York"s Governor Andrew Cuomo.
MADDOW: Assemblyman Lavine, one sort of specific issue here that I wonder when you are a state representative how these factors into both decision-making and debate on this, but the comptroller"s office for the state estimated that the economic impact of extending marriage rights to same sex couples in New York would add about $142 million on a net basis to New York City"s economy and about $14 million on a net basis in spending to the state"s economy.
Is that the kind of thing that comes up in real negotiations within the assembly when people are talking about how they are going to vote on this sort of thing? Is that the sort of thing by which you prove your case to the public, or is that use to prove your case to each other within the assembly?
LAVINE: It comes up to a limited extent. And, of course, it"s something that those of us who are proponents rely upon and discuss. To those who are adverse to this change in the law, this is a matter of their particular interpretations of their own senses of morality.
And the economic factor is something that doesn"t figure into their calculus whatsoever.
MADDOW: State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, representing Nassau County
on Long Island, a supporter of what looks to be, I think we are right on
the cusp being voted on in the New York State Senate tonight. Mr. Lavine -
thank you very much for your time tonight. I appreciate it.
LAVINE: My pleasure. Thank you so much.
MADDOW: Thank you.
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