Cuomo says de Blasio is ‘exactly right,’ about the pre-K part

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Governor Cuomo. (via zrs one)
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo thinks Bill de Blasio is "exactly right" about one part of his plan for universal pre-kindergarten.

"Let's remember on the plan, there are two components," Cuomo said yesterday, after a tour of sites that were damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

De Blasio's plan, as Cuomo sees it, involves a proposed tax increase on the city's highest earners, which Cuomo doesn't support, in order to pay for universal pre-K, which Cuomo likes much better.

Today the governor wanted to talk about the part of the proposition on which he and de Blasio agree.

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"We've spent a lot of time talking about the tax consequences," Cuomo said. "Universal pre-K, which we really haven't talked about, I support. I proposed in the State of the State—which you listened to intently—universal pre-K. So, we believe in universal pre-K, the state has started on a course for universal pre-K and we're working on it all across the State of New York."

But Cuomo, who has openly worried about the impact of tax increases, made clear that the state was expanding its program without new taxes.

"We've done it without tax increases," Cuomo said. "It's a question of funding. But I believe in universal pre-K, I believe Bill de Blasio is exactly right that that is the direction to go. That is the road we're on and we're going to continue."

Cuomo's statement hints at the possibility that he could bend de Blasio's plan to suit his own objectives of expanding universal pre-K, but without raising taxes, which could be a tough sell in 2014, when Cuomo and the entirety of the state legislature (including tax-averse Senate Republicans) are up for re-election.

Cuomo has previously said the state should be more "creative" in its spending.

De Blasio has suggested that the governor is open to his proposed funding mechanism for pre-K, despite what the governor said, and predicted that public pressure will push it through the legislature.