Heastie Says EITC Remains A ‘Difficult’ Bill For Assembly
The education investment tax credit remains a difficult lift for the Democratic-led Assembly in the final days of the legislative session, Speaker Carl Heastie said on Tuesday to reporters.
“It still is a very, very difficult subject in the conference,” Heastie said. “That hasn’t changed much over the last couple of weeks with the campaign being waged by supporters of the investment tax credit.”
Indeed, the assertive push from tax credit supporters aimed to push lawmakers to back the bill appears to have hardened some of the resistance to the measure in the chamber, where majority lawmakers have drawn support from the New York State United Teachers union.
Heastie on Monday met in his office with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who personally traveled to Albany with bishops from around the state to lobby for the bill alongside Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the Executive Mansion.
Heastie, nevertheless, said he is sticking to requiring the bill gain majority support within his conference before being allowed on the floor for a vote in the full chamber, where supporters say it would likely pass.
“As I’ve always tried to maintain to keep the principles of democracy and majority together, it’s very difficult to put something out on the floor where you don’t have 76 members in the conference supporting it,” Heastie said.
Not all Democrats are opposed to the legislation. Democratic Assemblywoman Pat Fahy of Albany today said in an interview that her colleagues were “all over the map” on the bill, which Cuomo has rebranded as the Parental Choice in Education Act.
The bill would provide tax credits to those who make donations to public schools and scholarships that benefit private and parochial schools.
Senate Republicans previously approved their own version of the legislation.
Cuomo this year linked in his budget proposal the tax credit to the passage of the DREAM Act, which provides tuition assistance to undocumented immigrants. The package fell off the table at the conclusion of the budget talks and are no longer linked.
Heastie indicated today that even with the DREAM Act linked again, lawmakers wouldn’t go for the tax credit as an inducement.
“Remember the governor was the one who tied the DREAM Act and the tax credit together,” he said. “That was his linkage. I guess trying to see if he can get the Assembly and Senate to agree. People are willing to compromise, but sometimes they aren’t willing to move off their core principles. It’s hard to ask members of the conference to do that and I won’t do that.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on June 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm, and is filed under Assembly, Carl Heastie. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|