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De Blasio Gets Some Of What He Wants In State Budget Deal

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Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio on March 20, 2014. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio received the funding for universal prekindergarten in the New York state budget – albeit without the tax hike on the wealthy he had sought.

But as 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported, de Blasio experienced some pushback on his plans to move some charter schools out of public school buildings.

But de Blasio said decisions about charter school locations are ultimately up to the city.

“Anything that’s happened in Albany doesn’t change the fact that we will make those co-location reforms. We will make decisions about space in the (Department of Education) buildings,” the mayor said.

Meanwhile, the measure proposed by de Blasio for a tax hike on the city’s wealthiest individuals to fund full-day prekindergarten was rejected by lawmakers, the budget deal adds $340 million for prekindergarten — $300 million of which will go to New York City.

The mayor expressed satisfaction with receiving funding even without the tax hike, but he said he would remain vigilant on the state funding.

“I’m very hopeful about it,” he said. “If at any point Albany demurred, then I would say any and all options are on the table.

“There’s a natural tension between New York City and Albany and the state government. That’s historic,” de Blasio told radio reporters, including WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb. “And we have to every year make sure the commitments are being kept.”

De Blasio said he not taking up the issue of pension reform at the moment. He is focusing on labor negotiations and city budget concerns.

“We spend a lot on health care for our employees,” he said. “We think there’s ways to do that better.”

One labor representative said a recent two-hour sit-down with the city was a conversation that had not taken place in years.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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