Bill de Blasio makes a return visit to the state capitol this morning days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo's released his budget. Observers still wonder how the two men will reconcile their proposals for universal pre-kindergarten.
Unlike the mayor's previous trip upstate, he's taking some backup with him. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, a dogged ally in de Blasio's plan to tax the wealthiest New Yorkers to raise $340 million for pre-K, will join the mayor in testifying in front of the state legislature's fiscal committees, along with 16 other Council members.
The speaker has already vocalized her support for the mayor's "modest" tax increase as a better vehicle for pre-K than Cuomo's $1.5 billion for statewide full-day pre-K, as have Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
and State Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein. The question remains if any of them will sway a tax-cutting Cuomo caught between a Democratic agenda and an election year.
NEW IN THE GOTHAM GAZETTE
Breaking Down the New City Council Committees by Chester Soria
The new crop of city lawmakers met last week for the first time since electing Melissa Mark-Viverito as their speaker to vote on the Council's leadership appointments. The speaker parsed out the Council's seats of power, as well as the controversial stipends that go with them. READ MORE
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