Klein Waffles on Holding the Line on Pre-K Tax

Written by Matthew Hamilton on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Education, Features, Heard Around Town, News.





When state Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos shot down New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pre-kindergarten plan on Monday, state Sen. Jeff Klein, Skelos’ governing partner, issued a statement saying that he would not pass a state budget that fails to include the proposal, calling it “the only one that provides New York City with the funding it needs to achieve that goal.”

Sen. Jeff Klein

Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Jeff Klein

But by Tuesday, he seemed more flexible on de Blasio’s plan, which requires a tax on the wealthy. Asked whether the disagreement was a “chink in the armor” of the Senate coalition, Klein said, “We don’t always agree on things. I don’t always agree with Dean Skelos. I don’t always agree with the governor or Shelly Silver. But you know something, at the end of the day, for the past three years we’ve been able to come together and get some good things done.”

In another statement, Klein insisted that he wants an on-time budget, adding that he is “not in favor of taxing just for the sake of taxing. But I wholeheartedly support Mayor de Blasio’s tax increase because it will adequately fund universal pre-K for New York City and that is why I am committed to making it a part of this year’s state budget.”

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