Mayor Bill de Blasio is demanding that state lawmakers put his pre-k tax plan up for a vote after state Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos said he will not bring it to the floor, but it is unclear whether his anger over the blocked vote will do much to help his cause. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is preaching to the choir as he pitches his pre-k tax hike plan to clergy from around the city.
De Blasio wants to raise taxes on high-income earners to pay for universal pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds, but now, it appears that the plan may never reach the floor of the state Senate for a vote.
"The people of this city demand something for our children, and we are told we don't even get a vote in Albany, as if our children don't matter," de Blasio said.
De Blasio: Is that acceptable to you?
De Blasio: Are we just going to take that lying down?
De Blasio: Should we go to Albany and let them know what we think?
The mayor wants the tax hike approved this spring as state lawmakers negotiate a new budget.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed giving the city state money to pay for pre-k instead, but the mayor says he is only interested in paying for pre-k with a tax hike.
"There's no movement towards a resolution because there's no meaningful option on the table other than our plan, and again, at least in the case of Senator Skelos, he's not allowing a vote on our plan," de Blasio said. "So we have a real stalemate."
If the circumstances of the new mayor's situation sound familiar, that's because it is starting to mirror Mayor Michael Bloomberg's failed effort to establish congestion pricing in Manhattan in 2008.
"Ultimately, they didn't even have the courage to vote on it," Bloomberg said in April of 2008. "They just killed it in a back room."
Mayor de Blasio said that it is the job of legislators to take a stand on issues like this.
"You want to be against the interest of children and families? Stand up and say it," de Blasio said. "If you think it's unfair to ask millionaires to pay a little more so we can strengthen our future, stand up and say it. Be my guest. But you can't hide. There has to be a vote."
As for de Blasio's next lobbying trip to Albany on this issue, he said it will happen soon.