De Blasio's pre-K push still lacks Cuomo support - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

De Blasio's pre-K push still lacks Cuomo support

Posted: Updated:

JONATHAN LEMIRE | AP

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio surrounded himself with labor leaders Monday morning, the latest choreographed show of support for his signature campaign promise to fund universal pre-kindergarten programs with a tax increase on the wealthy.

But at that exact moment, the person whose backing he most needs assembled his own news conference about 150 miles to the north and positioned himself behind a banner that read "Cutting Taxes for New Yorkers."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's reluctance to raise taxes pits the state's two leading Democrats against each other and endangers the central plank of de Blasio's liberal agenda. Though de Blasio's proposed tax would only impact New York City residents, it won't become law without the blessing of the state Legislature and Cuomo.

The governor, who is up for re-election and may be eyeing a White House run, again gave no indication that he is willing to support de Blasio's tax increase, instead devoting his Albany news conference to various corporate and property tax cuts meant to make the state more welcome to businesses.

Cuomo has long signaled his support for his universal pre-kindergarten but has not committed to a way to fund it. He called it a "two-step process."

"First, decide what you want to do," Cuomo told reporters. "And step two is decide how you are going to do it. I think we're on step one, which is I'm in agreement with the mayor that pre-K is the direction that this state has to head."

"The question comes: How do we pay for it?" asked Cuomo.

Cuomo has not committed to a timetable for any universal pre-kindergarten plan while de Blasio wants the tax increase included in this year's spring budget so the program can be unveiled this September.

"The governor has made a very clear commitment to pre-K and I commend him for it," said de Blasio, who wants to raise the income tax on New Yorkers who make more than $500,000 a year from 3.876 percent to 4.41 percent. "That is different from reaching every child in New York City here and now."

The relationship between Cuomo and de Blasio is one of the most closely watched in state politics.

The men, who are close in age, frequently refer to each other as "friend" and de Blasio speaks glowingly about the time he worked for Cuomo in the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development under former president Bill Clinton. Cuomo endorsed de Blasio for mayor but waited until the Democratic primary was over.

Cuomo denied a media report that he was going to introduce his own universal pre-kindergarten program in his State of the State speech on Wednesday though he could propose another way to pay for the plan.

De Blasio has steadfastly refused to consider an alternative means of funding.

"We believe it's the right thing to do," the mayor said Monday. "We are sticking to this goal. We're not going to bargain against ourselves."

"This is dedicated funding for five years," he continued. "We don't want to do this year-by-year. We don't want half-measures. We don't want partial funding. And we believe this is a fair and just way to do it. And if there's other resources available in Albany, I assure you we have plenty of other needs for them, in our schools and beyond."

De Blasio is expected to negotiate further with Cuomo when he travels to Albany on Wednesday for the governor's address.

On Monday, he appeared with more than a dozen union heads — including the president of the teachers union — who represent more than 1.3 million workers and say they will lobby for the pre-K plan.

Later, de Blasio continued to fill out his administration by making six new appointments, including Peter Ragone, the ex-spokesman for former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, as senior adviser for strategic planning.

Associated Press writer Michael Virtanen in Albany contributed to this report

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Friday Night Live: July 25, 2014

    Friday Night Live: July 25, 2014

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:31:59 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Stephen "Twitch" Boss, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Michael Chernow and Chef Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop.
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Stephen "Twitch" Boss, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Michael Chernow and Chef Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop.
  • G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:37:26 GMT
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    The MTA says there will be no service between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and Court Square in Long Island City until Sept. 2.
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    The MTA says there will be no service between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and Court Square in Long Island City until Sept. 2.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:45 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:45:49 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices