From the Morning Memo:

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in a statement is backing changes to the 421a real-estate tax abatement that include both an affordable housing expansion as well as a prevailing wage component.

In the statement sent to Capital Tonight, the Yonkers Democrat backed the affordable expansion has envision by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has re-opened a rift with Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the issue.

It’s also the first time the Democratic conference has taken a definitive stance on the 421a issue this session, which is part of the workload for state lawmakers in the final days of the legislative session.

Cuomo has been sympathetic of the argument raised by labor unions, including the AFL-CIO, which is pushing for a prevailing wage for construction workers.

But Stewart-Cousins, in the statement, also backed a prevailing wage provision for both construction workers as well as for service workers.

“Clearly 421a needs to be reformed and we need to ensure that this program creates more affordable housing, reaches more people with lower incomes than ever before and increases the percentage requirement as Mayor de Blasio suggested,” she said. “In addition, we believe prevailing wage must be a central component of any new program.”

Senate Republicans have introduced legislation that would include a prevailing wage component, while Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, has said his conference is supportive of such a provision as well (Assembly Housing Chairman Keith Wright has bills for both a prevailing wage as well as affordable housing language).

Along with rent control for New York City and the surrounding area, the 421a tax abatement is due to expire this month.

The mainline Senate Democrats are closely aligned with de Blasio after last year’s elections, in which the mayor sought to help his party gain control of the chamber to no avail.

De Blasio, nevertheless, perhaps has his biggest political and governmental allies in Albany with the Senate Democratic conference, which is eyeing 2016 and a huge party turn out in a presidential election year.