Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said yesterday that he will block a vote on Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to tax the wealthy to pay for universal pre-kindergarten in the city. Skelos argued the tax would hurt the entire state by driving away the wealthy. “The last thing we need is to see high earners leave New York state because then we lose their tax dollars,” said Skelos, who mentioned Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to fund pre-k without raising taxes. Cuomo is aggressivley purusing an alternative plan to establish universal pre-k statewide. Skelos' comment was met with outrage from de Blasio, major labor groups, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Sen. Jeff Klein who heads the independent Democratic Conference. "I will not approve a budget that fails to realize the vision Mayor de Blasio and I share of providing high-quality, universal pre-k to the 50,000 four year olds who need it," Klein said in a statement. However, Klein has indicated he would be open to some sort of middle ground.
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