The Daily Gazette
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NY Legislature's top Democrat: pre-K tax not dead

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— The state Legislature's most powerful Democrat says New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to fund citywide pre-kindergarten with a tax increase is not off the table as lawmakers negotiate a budget.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says Tuesday that neither de Blasio's plan nor Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan has been ruled out for the state budget due April 1. Cuomo wants to pay for pre-K statewide with exiting state funds instead of raising a tax.

The Senate's Republican leader, Dean Skelos, appeared to shut the door this month on taking up a bill that would allow New York City to pay for pre-K with higher taxes on the wealthy. Silver says that stance was unacceptable.

Silver said he was open to different funding solutions.

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