On Mayor Bill de Blasio's first trip to Albany as mayor, he made it clear that he plans to navigate the Capitol in a different way than his predecessor. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
ALBANY - Mayor Bill de Blasio took his time as he strolled through the halls of the state Capitol Wednesday. There were photos to take and politicians to embrace before Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address.
"We're simply trying to show respect for the leaders here in Albany, and just spend some time deepening our relationships," de Blasio said. "There's a lot of work ahead."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg had an often rocky relationship with Albany, but the new mayor said he wants to do things differently.
"With all due respect to Mayor Bloomberg, this is about showing respect for the leadership in Albany, and I think he often failed to do that," de Blasio said.
He began his visit with a closed-door meeting with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
"We see eye to eye on many things, and certainly his agenda here," Silver said.
The mayor then popped up at a reception hosted by the state Senate's Independent Democratic Caucus, which is backing his plan to raise taxes on New Yorkers making more than $500,000 per year to pay for pre-kindergarten and after-school programs.
"With his vision, with his ability, we're going to get it done," said state Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein.
The mayor met with other Senate Democrats and with Senate Republicans as well, and he hobnobbed with many more New Yorkers along the way.
The real purpose of de Blasio's trip was to build support for his pre-k tax plan. Cuomo is on board with the pre-k part, but he has said it is too early to talk about the tax hike. When the governor mentioned pre-k in his speech, he did not talk about how to fund it. He also failed to mention that the new mayor has his own pre-k plan.
"It's time for New York State to have universal full-day pre-k statewide," Cuomo said.
"Today, he set the goal, and it is absolutely the right goal for our city and state," de Blasio said. "We have a specific way to get there."
The only problem is that the mayor's way runs right through Albany.