Asked if he was reviving de Blasio’s push for a tax increase on those earning $500,000 and more a year to pay for a city-wide version of the plan, Silver didn’t deny it.
“I’m looking for a reliable, sustainable funding source throughout the state,” he said.
It is an interesting turnaround for the budget talks, which come a day after 59 people were arrested outside of the governor’s office protesting tax and spending cuts in the proposal.
Silver last week indicated he was on board with the Senate’s one-house budget resolution that proposed spending $540 million on universal pre-Kindergarten without a tax increase, as long as no strings were attached.
But now Silver suggested on Friday the resolution was a “fiction.”
“I’m not sure what the Senate proposed,” Silver said. “It’s hard to read that resolution and read that fiction. I read biographies. I read histories. But I never read fiction.”
It’s a knife-twisting comment and is in many ways vintage Silver, who has confounded Republicans, especially Gov. George Pataki, during budget talks in previous years.
Silver has the most votes in Albany thanks to a large Democratic majority in the Assembly and has been known to effectively hold out for his conference’s agenda in the closed-door talks.
I have a difficult time seeing Silver come out of negotiations with the tax increase de Blasio wants - not with Cuomo strongly opposed to the plan.
Also have a difficult time seeing Silver hold the line on all the charter school issues Cuomo wants in the budget.
But we'll see soon enough.