It’s an inherent conflict: New York City often can’t move without the approval from the state Legislature.
So Gov. Andrew Cuomo today brushed aside complaints yesterday from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio that the governor and the Legislature aren’t taking seriously the city’s needs for new rent-control laws, tax breaks for real-estate developers and continued mayoral control of schools.
“Mayor of the city of New York frustrated with Albany. Now there’s a shock,” Cuomo told reporters.
Cuomo said the city has benefited greatly from policies at the state Capitol, and he and the Legislature are trying to reach an agreement on the outstanding issues for the city before the session ends June 17.
“I am a New York City boy through and through. I was born in New York City, raised in New York City. I know New York City very well. I know the needs of New York City,” Cuomo, who is from Queens, said.
But he added that the issues are thorny for the Legislature, which has installed new Assembly and Senate leaders since February because both leaders — Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos — have been indicted.
Cuomo suggested the Legislature may want to consider mayoral control of schools for more than just the city. Buffalo wants it, and Rochester has hinted at it as a possibility over the years. De Blasio wants mayoral control in the schools to be permanent.
“I support mayoral control of education in New York City. I think that should be extended,” Cuomo continued. “I think we should be looking at mayoral control in other cities. And I welcome the discussion in the upstate cities. If we think it makes sense in the upstate cities: how about Buffalo, how about Rochester, how about Syracuse, how about Albany? I share the concerns.”
But Cuomo said the debate is par for the course at the Capitol, and he’s optimistic that the thorny issues can be resolved.
Also on the table: raising the age for juveniles to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system; tax breaks for donations to private schools; tougher laws against sexual assaults on college campuses and making the tax cap permanent.
“I think this is basically the normal dynamic, right?” Cuomo said. “We have a couple of weeks to go. People don’t focus until the end of the day, and on the controversial topics, they’d rather not get invoked if they don’t have to, and my job is to push them to get involved and come up with a resolution.”