Mayor Bill de Blaso has bubbled with enthusiasm over the state budget deal signed this week, hailing its pre-K fundng as a “truly historic moment” for the city’s families.
But one of Mr. de Blasio’s top allies, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, was far more reserved about the outcome today, thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s refusal to allow the passage of a tax on the rich that the mayor had championed.
“Obviously not everything is perfect, but I think there’s a lot good things for New York City there and obviously that was thanks to [Mr. Cuomo] and the others that helped negotiate that. I’m not going to agree with him on everything and he’s not going to agree with me on everything but we have to be respectful,” Ms. Mark-Viverito told the Observer in an interview this morning. “We felt, and I still feel, that a tax would’ve been great. We tried to make the case, we discussed it, we went up and talked about it several times … We weren’t successful.”
Mr. de Blasio declared yesterday that he had no hard feelings against the governor, who sometimes appeared to be purposely trying to undercut him during negotiations.
Ms. Mark-Viverito had previously broken with some of her fellow liberal council members by refusing to air frustration about Mr. Cuomo, a relatively centrist Democrat who champions tax cuts and charter schools–along with marriage equality and stricter gun laws.
At a meeting last week, one member of the council’s progressive wing fumed about Democrats like Mr. Cuomo who fail to fight for progressive values. But Ms. Mark-Viverito failed to join him, telling reporters, “I’m not going to answer that question,” when pressed on Mr. Cuomo’s politics.
Today, Ms. Mark-Viverito remained diplomatic, but stopped far short of lavishing praise.
“I respect him and I work with him and there’s still a lot things we want to get done on the state level, a lot of conversations to be had, there’s still legislation to pass,” she said. “If we come to agree and we get his support, great. If we don’t, then we have to be respectful about disagreeing and move forward.”