De Blasio’s Budget: Progressive or Aggressive?

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Housing, Labor/Unions, News

What does a “progressive” city budget look like? During his preliminary budget presentation last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio attached his favorite buzzword to a supposedly apolitical document. Through the explicit and implicit priorities laid out in his financial plan, the mayor—who mere months ago dubbed himself a “fiscal conservative”—threw caution to the wind, etching his major policy items into the budget with or without the necessary cooperation from Albany, and despite the element of unpredictability stemming  from the city’s… [More]

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.” But by Tuesday, he seemed more flexible on de Blasio’s plan, which requires a tax on… [More]

Upload of Student Data Delayed Again

Written by Matthew Hamilton on . Posted in Education, Features, Heard Around Town, News, Technology

State Education Commissioner Dr. John King The state’s upload of sensitive data to inBloom is being delayed again, Education Department Commissioner John King announced Monday, marking the second delay since January. “We’re going to continue our work on that data project, but we’re going to delay the sharing of names and addresses so that we can work with the Legislature to put in place additional security and privacy protections related to third party providers,” King said during a press conference primarily to announce Common Core adjustments… [More]

De Blasio’s State of the City Marks A Shift In Tone From Bloomberg Era

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Housing, Labor/Unions, Latest, News, Real Estate/Construction, Transportation

As is the case with most mayors less than two months into their administration, Mayor Bill de Blasio did not have a laundry list of accomplishments to point to during his State of the City address on Monday. But unlike his predecessor Michael Bloomberg’s first State of the City, which covered a wide range of topics and laid the foundation for his twelve years in office, de Blasio eschewed a long-term blueprint in favor of addressing the urgency of leveling… [More]

De Blasio Pre-K Push Mirrors Dinkins Era Negotiation [CORRECTED]

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Features, Government Operations, News, Public Safety, Social Services

Last week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio traveled to Albany to make the case for his universal preschool program in front of the state Assembly Ways and Means and the Senate Finance committees. De Blasio, who campaigned on providing full-day preschool for all four year olds, as well as after school programs for every middle school student, has ramped up his campaign for the effort, which would be paid for through a temporary tax hike on the city’s… [More]

Unsettled Teacher Contracts Could Raise Cost of De Blasio’s Universal Preschool Program

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Features, Government Operations, Labor/Unions, Latest, News, Social Services

During his back-and-forth with the state Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Committees on Monday—pitching the merits of his proposed universal preschool and after school programs—Mayor Bill de Blasio listened while state Sen. Diane Savino expressed shock that his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, left him very little in the way of reserve money to negotiate long-expired municipal labor contracts. When Savino, who chairs the Senate Labor Committee, suggested that de Blasio use the labor contract conundrum to bolster his case for a tax increase… [More]

Cuomo, De Blasio Hold Firm on Opposing Funding Plans for Universal Pre-K

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Education, Features, Heard Around Town, Latest, News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agree on the need for universal pre-kindergarten, but the remain sharply divided over how to fund it. In his budget address on Tuesday afternoon, Cuomo unveiled a five-year, $1.5 billion pre-K proposal, with $100 million for the 2014-15 school year and at least $100 million to be added in each subsequent year. “The state will pay for it, and the state will be proud to pay for it,” Cuomo… [More]

Cuomo Dismisses Calls for More Education Funding, Quieter on Common Core

Written by Matthew Hamilton on . Posted in Daily, Education, News

Ahead of today’s budget presentation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took a hardline approach in response to calls for additional funding for education. Education spending has become a point of contention between the governor and education advocates, especially given a projected surplus that could be used in the upcoming budget. Cuomo says he wants to use that on a package of tax cuts, while advocates want to see additional education dollars. Last year Cuomo proposed an education aid increase of 4.4 percent.… [More]

De Blasio, Labor Leaders Affirm Commitment to Increase Taxes to Pay for Universal Pre-K

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Education, Features, Latest, News, News & Features

In a show of support for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed universal preschool program, leaders of New York City’s largest and most powerful unions held a press conference with the mayor today firmly backing his plan to pay for the program through a tax increase on New Yorkers making more than $500,000 per year. “New York state has promised over the years to fund universal pre-k—for over 15 years now we’ve heard it—but has never provided the funding needed to… [More]

On Inauguration Day, a New City Government Doubles Down on Progressive Vision

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Health Care, Housing, News, Other News, Public Safety

A bitterly cold, gray New Year’s Day greeted New York City’s new government leaders on Wednesday afternoon in front of City Hall. The standard political party mix of Bruce Springsteen and various Motown and soul numbers thumped from the sound system, though if there were any dancing it was likely an attempt to keep blood flowing to the extremities. City and state dignitaries and several celebrities were in attendance, glad-handing, smiling through chattering teeth, and waiting patiently for the man… [More]