De Blasio Leaves Albany, Sans Commitments On Key Issues (Updated)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio held a flurry of meetings with state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on key issues facing the city ranging from education to affordable.
He left town, by his own admission, without any commitments for agreements as the legislative session starts to wind down.
The mayor also admitted he was “frustrated” by a seeming inertia on rent control regulations and mayoral control of schools in the city, both of which are due to expire next month.
“We obviously have a number of meetings ahead, but no commitments yet today,” de Blasio said at a news conference. “I’m quite frustrated that issues of such great importance to millions of New Yorkers still have not been addressed.”
The Democratic-led Assembly approved a three-year extension for mayoral control, while Senate Republicans have held out for unspecified changes. De Blasio wants a strengthening of rent control regulations as well as changes to the 421a tax abatement program that expands affordable housing.
“I think if there isn’t action on mayoral control of education or if there isn’t action on rent regulation, people all over the city and all over the state would look at Albany and once again conclude Albany is not meeting the needs of the people,” de Blasio said.
And in a not-so-veiled swipe at Cuomo, de Blasio called for leadership at the Capitol on those issues.
“I think leadership requires taking responsibility,” he said. “I think the notion that there’s not an appetite is something I reject.”
He added: “In particular, we need the governor to act.”
De Blasio met with Cuomo for about an hour.
The governor himself also huddled in an unannounced meeting with legislative leaders in his office for more than an hour. Both Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan left the meeting in the governor’s office without addressing reporters.
De Blasio’s appearance in Albany comes at a particularly fraught time for the Capitol, which has been rocked by corruption scandals in both chambers.
Both de Blasio and Cuomo have insisted there is no rivalry between the two, even as the governor has in the past seemingly sought to attract attention from the mayor as well as outmaneuver him on policy issues.
At the same time, de Blasio has had an uneasy relationship with Senate Republicans. De Blasio made little secret of his effort to flip the state Senate to Democratic control last year, only to have the GOP gain a full majority.
After meeting with Flanagan, the newly elected majority leader in the Senate, de Blasio said the meeting was a productive one. The issue of the election was not raised.
“The tone has been collegial and substantive,” he said. “It was a very good meeting. it was a very respectful meeting. I think it was a productive conversation.”
Updated: Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif released a statement on de Blasio’s trip to Albany.
“Every outstanding issue, including those raised by the Mayor, will be considered on the merits during the remaining three weeks of the legislative session,” he said.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 27, 2015 at 5:25 pm, and is filed under Bill de Blasio. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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