Cuomo Points To AFL-CIO Opposition To de Blasio 421A Plan
A day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated his push for his own version of the 421a tax abatement reform plan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo drew heavily on the opposition to the proposal from the AFL-CIO.
Cuomo, speaking after a news conference on juvenile justice reform at Greene Correctional Facility in Coxsackie, indicated he was sympathetic to the argument being made by the labor group, which is pushing for a broader prevailing wage provision in the abatement.
De Blasio’s proposal, backed by the Real Estate Board of New York, would expand affordable housing opportunities in the program, but does not embrace the wage plan.
The mayor’s plan does include a prevailing wage provision for service workers, but not those in the construction sector.
“A lot of people think the deal that has been negotiated by the city is too rich for developers and doesn’t do enough for workers,” Cuomo said. “I want to make sure the workers are protected the developers get a fair deal. I am not interested in passing a program that is a giveaway to developers.”
It’s an interesting moment of script-flipping for both Cuomo and de Blasio: The governor, considered a moderate Democrat, has drawn large share of his political and financial support from real-estate interests and developers and was not endorsed by the AFL-CIO last year in his re-election bid.
De Blasio, a liberal, has sought to assert himself as a progressive voice both in New York and nationally.
The mayor warned against a straight-forward extension of the abatement, insisting that his proposal would add 200,000 units of affordable housing.
Still, Cuomo in the question-and-answer session frequently returned to the issue of the AFL-CIO’s disagreeing with the plan.
“The AFL-CIO says the mayor is wrong. AFL-CIO is very powerful and the Legislature doesn’t want to oppose the AFL-CIO,” Cuomo said. “These are controversial issues and the Legislature doesn’t want to get enmeshed in these controversies, it’s not surprising.”
The mayor’s office defended de Blasio’s approach on the 421a renewal plan. The abatement is due to expire on June 15.
“This mayor and administration have proven themselves ardent supporters of working people and of the labor movement—nobody can argue that isn’t the case with a straight face,” said spokesman Wiley Norvell. “Our reforms would double the amount of affordable housing produced by this program and boost the number of good jobs provided. Anyone seeking to preserve the status quo is fighting for fewer prevailing wage jobs and less of the affordable housing New Yorkers desperately need. If 421a is simply extended as-is, as some are seeking up in Albany, there will be no prevailing wage construction jobs, far fewer building service workers making prevailing wage and no progress on affordable housing for tens of thousands in desperate need. That’s an indefensible outcome.”
De Blasio left Albany following a round of meetings on Wednesday calling for broader leadership on a range of issues, including the 421a abatement as well as extensions for rent control and mayoral control of New York City schools.
De Blasio said he was frustrated with the pace of progress at the state Capitol and had not secured any commitments from state lawmakers.
“Mayor of the city of New York, frustrated with Albany. Now there’s a shocker,” Cuomo said with a laugh, noting de Blasio’s predecessors, too, have been stymied by Albany’s byzantine negotiating processes.
“I understand that and I understand the Legislature can be a frustrating process,” Cuomo said. “They’re frustrating to me and I get that fully.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 28, 2015 at 3:42 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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