Cuomo Insists His Personal Relationship With de Blasio Is Strong
Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a radio interview on Monday brushed aside questions about his relationship with Bill de Blasio, insisting that he respects the New York City mayor despite their latest disagreement on the extension of a lucrative tax abatement.
“The mayor advocates for my cause, I advocate for my cause,” Cuomo said on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “He’s a tough advocate and I wouldn’t respect him if he wasn’t.”
Cuomo, as he has before, noted both he and the mayor worked in the Clinton administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He downplayed the war of words between their offices that once again flared up last week following de Blasio’s visit to Albany.
“Our personal relationship is not an issue,” Cuomo said. “I’ve known him for 25 years Our positions as mayor and governor come and go. We both have enough respect to understand that.”
Nevertheless, Cuomo plans to “fight like a Trojan” for his issues, he said.
The governor and the mayor remain at odds over the extension of the 421a tax abatement, which is due to expire in two weeks.
The dispute escalated on Sunday, with Cuomo calling de Blasio’s plan a “sweetheart deal” for developers and the mayor accusing the governor of kowtowing to special interests.
But today, Cuomo sought to downplay the feud, insisting that he wanted to see changes to the abatement.
Cuomo himself has not outlined specifically what he backs for 421a, though he does not back de Blasio’s vision for modifying it.
“I disagree with some elements of the specific plan,” Cuomo said. “But we both agree that it should be improved.”
De Blasio backs a plan that would expand affordable housing requirements in the abatement, but has run afoul of labor unions for not including a prevailing wage component for construction workers (the mayor’s proposal does include a prevailing wage for the service-workers industry).
The 421a abatement debate is just one of several key issues facing the Legislature this session. Rent control regulations are due to expire this month, as is mayoral control of New York City schools.
Cuomo reiterated his support for a three-year extension of mayoral control, though Senate Republicans have introduced a bill that would provide for only a 12-month expiration, plus a raising of the state’s cap on charter schools.
As for rent control, the governor indicated he would support a strengthening of the regulations, including modifications to vacancy de-control, even if he is skeptical it would be repealed entirely as some New York City Democrats would like.
Cuomo threatened to keep lawmakers in Albany beyond the scheduled end of session if they do not approve any extension.
“The rent regulations which apply in New York City would be the most impactful from a negative point of view consequence of a Legislature that fails to act,” Cuomo said. “If the Legislature fails to gavel out I would do everything within my power including a special session every day.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on June 1, 2015 at 12:00 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|