Mayor Bill de Blasio met with Governor Andrew Cuomo in Albany Wednesday to push for the city's top priorities, and later complained about a lack of leadership in the capitol. Zack Fink filed the following report.
ALBANY - Arriving precisely on time for his 11 a.m. meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio emerged roughly an hour later without much to show for it.
The mayor later lamented what he said was a lack of real leadership in Albany. He was asked if that meant Cuomo, who has been largely silent on the major issues the mayor came up to Albany to lobby for.
"I think we need his leadership," de Blasio said. "But I'm saying it to both him and to the Senate. We need action."
In response, a Cuomo administration official fired back, telling NY1, "Don't get me wrong, it was nice he showed up. But to appear in the Capitol a few days before the end of session with controversial and untested ideas that are opposed by significant groups such as the AFL-CIO is not how leaders get things done."
The mayor seemed frustrated by his visit.
"No commitments," he said. "I'm quite frustrated that issues of such great importance to millions of New Yorkers still have not been addressed."
Those issues include renewing mayoral control of schools, extending rent protections and reforming the controversial tax abatement program known as 421-a.
The mayor took a trip down to the Hilton Hotel, where Assembly Democrats were meeting for a political event. There, he urged the normally friendly crowd to embrace his plan to extend 421-a, which includes more affordable housing but no prevailing wage requirement for new projects.
The mayor was asked if he won over his fellow Democrats.
"We didn't have a straw poll," de Blasio said. "It was an opportunity for me to present my views and take some questions. But I have made clear that the creation of affordable housing is absolutely necessary for the future of our city."
But Keith Wright, the chairman of the Assembly housing committee, says he plans to introduce his own 421-a plan that includes the prevailing wage.
"Well, we're examining, right now, a bill, and as chairman of the housing committee, I would possibly put forth a bill discussing some prevailing wages," Wright said.
Insiders say because of the corruption scandals in Albany this year, there is a lack of an appetite for the normal deal-making that takes place at the end of session. Because of that, some believe that may just mean all these programs simply get extended as is.