A proposal unveiled by Assembly Democrats on Thursday that would hike tax rates on the rich is getting the thumbs up from liberal advocacy groups.

The Assembly’s proposal, expected to generate $5.6 billion in new revenue, comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to preserve a surcharge on millionaires due to expire at the end of the year.

The current tax rates would be increased for those who earn more than $5 million under the Assembly’s plan.

Speaker Carl Heastie has telegraphed the move for sometime: He wants to boost spending for education beyond the $961 million hike backed by Cuomo in his budget and would use the new revenue from the tax increase to pay for it.

“We applaud Speaker Carl Heastie and the New York State Assembly for leading the way in calling for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share in order to fund vital programs for our communities,” said Jasmine Gripper, the legislative director of Alliance for Quality Education. “Given the current political climate, it is more important than ever that New York State to protect the most vulnerable New Yorkers. New York has the greatest inequality in the country and this tax would help provide the supports our communities need. We urge the Senate and Governor Cuomo to join the Assembly in supporting a fair and responsible tax structure for New York that asks the top 1 percent to pay their fair share.”

Added Mike Kink of the Strong Economy For All Coalition: “New York’s billionaires and multi-millionaires enjoyed explosive income gains over the past three decades, and our tax laws just haven’t kept up — until now. Speaker Heastie’s progressive proposal to extend and expand the Millionaires Tax is a smart move to make sure the richest New Yorkers pay their fair share — and all New Yorkers benefit from good schools, secure health care and a stronger, New York’s billionaires and multi-millionaires enjoyed explosive income gains over the past three decades, and our tax laws just haven’t kept up — until now.”

Increasing taxes has been opposed by Senate Republicans and top lawmakers in the conference have indicated they want to let the current rate expire.

Cuomo isn’t embracing the tax extension as a philosophical statement, however, but as a necessity to keep the budget in line and help pay for previously approved tax cuts for middle income earners.