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Legislators Pledge to Pass De Blasio's Tax Plan For School Programs

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Public Advocate Bill de Blaso's plan to tax the wealthy to pay for pre kindergarten and afterschool programs has come under attack by his opponents in the mayoral race, espeicially by Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

The plan has also been questioned by editorial boards--including The New York Times'. But a group of legislators came forward today to support de Blasio's plan. They sent a letter to Quinn pledging that they will work to pass the tax hike in Albany and also scolding Quinn for criticizing some of de Blasio's talking points.

De Blasio's and his plans have been targeted by his opponents has he has surged in the polls. A recent Quinnipiac Poll found de Blasio at 36 percent--close to the range of support he would need to avoid a runoff. 

The letter signed by Sens. Liz Krueger, Bill Perkins, James Sanders and Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda. It is worth noting that the three Senators are in the minority in their chamber and have no control of whether the bill comes to a vote. 

Here is the letter: 

Dear Speaker Quinn,

We are disappointed to hear your criticism of Bill de Blasio’s plan to raise taxes on those making more than $500,000 in order to fund universal pre-k for New York City’s four-year olds and expanded after-school seats for all middle school students who want and need them.

New York City deserves a leader who has the bold vision we need to help our children succeed, and secure New York City's future. We cannot continue this Tale of Two Cities that right now threatens to leave a generation of our children behind. Over the past five years, New York City has lost over 30,000 after-school seats.[1] In addition, since 2011 more than 26,000 pre-k applicants have been denied admission to Department of Education Pre-K. [2]

New Yorkers don’t need another pilot program or stopgap solution that only solidifies the status quo, and they surely do not need to take on additional household debt in order provide their children a head start in life. Now is not the time for small ideas.

We need leadership that is not afraid to push for bold ideas for our city’s children and future. If this means fighting in Albany for New York City's right to increase taxes on the wealthy, we are eager for that challenge. And as history shows, it's a challenge that is certainly achievable. Each of the past three mayors have fought for and won personal income tax increases to address critical challenges facing our city.

As members of the New York State Legislature, we all stand ready to proudly sponsor Bill de Blasio’s plan to raise the city income tax on those making more than $500,000 – and we are confident Albany will pass it. We hope you will join us in fighting for a bold solution that can actually begin to address the crisis in our public education system.

Sincerely,

State Senator Liz Krueger

State Senator Bill Perkins

State Senator James Sanders, Jr.

State Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda

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Guest Tuesday, 21 October 2014