Bill de Blasio meets with Democratic assembly members to push universal pre-K tax plan

Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio said his universal prekindergarten plan was well-received during a meeting with Democratic State Assembly members Monday. Credit: William Alatriste
Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio said his universal prekindergarten plan was well-received during a meeting with Democratic State Assembly members Monday.
Credit: William Alatriste

Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio said his universal prekindergarten plan was well-received during a meeting with Democratic State Assembly members Monday.

“It was very warmly received by the assembly members,” de Blasio said after the lunch meeting. “We got a very clear vote of confidence from the assembly members in the room, a lot of energy, a lot of willingness to help us make this a reality.”

The plan involves raising income taxes on city residents earning more than $500,000 annually, from 3.86 percent to 4.41 percent. The tax increase would be used to fund universal prekindergarten and after-school programs for middle school students.

The proposal was a major selling point during de Blasio’s campaign. He has said educating the workforce is the best method for improving the economy.

Raising income taxes requires approval from the State Legislature, which critics have said would be difficult with a Republican-controlled Senate.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who attended the meeting, and Democratic leader Sen. Jeff Klein support the measure.

In his pitch to skeptics, de Blasio pointed to a Quinnipiac poll last week showing support for the plan.

“The public of this city and this state understand that we are falling behind educationally, that a lot of our children are not given the education they need to succeed,” he said.

De Blasio said he plans on meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos about the proposal.

Skelos’ office did not comment on de Blasio’s meeting Monday, but the Nassau County senator has supported universal prekindergarten in the past. Still, most Senate and Assembly Republicans support cutting taxes, not raising them.

But that hasn’t deterred de Blasio, who said he hoped concept could go national.

“Education is more important to the future of our economy in general and to each household economy than it’s ever been in the history of humanity, literally,” he said.

De Blasio also said some appointments would be made later in the week, along with the family’s decision whether they will ultimately live in Gracie Mansion or continue to reside in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.