After taking in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget address and hearing his plan for universal pre-kindergarten, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos had a reminder for the governor: There’s a “schism” among Democrats, too.
While speaking to reporters, Skelos, R-Nassau County, made an unprompted reference to Cuomo’s Friday radio interview, in which the Democratic governor detailed what he sees as a “schism” in the state’s Republican Party while saying “right to life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay” conservative candidates have “no place in the state of New York.”
As Skelos sees it, the split among Democrats is between people like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who wants to increase taxes on the wealthy to fund pre-K, and Cuomo, who called for tax cuts in his budget.
“The governor pointed out very clearly there is a path to universal pre-K throughout the state without raising taxes,” Skelos said Tuesday. “But it also shows that there is a schism within the Democrat Party, not just the Republican Party, between the Democrat progressive left and the Democrat progressive right—de Blasio and Cuomo.”
He continued: “So every party has discussions and differences of opinion, but its our job as legislators and governor to resolve those differences.”
On Friday, Cuomo referenced Senate Republicans as an example of the “moderate” wing of the party, touting his relationship with the caucus that has led to the passage of a same-sex marriage and tough gun-control laws in New York.
Skelos, meanwhile, had positive things to say about Cuomo’s proposed $137.2 billion budget, though he again expressed his opposition to a proposal to create a system of using public funds to match smaller donations to political campaigns.
“I think that the governor once again has presented an executive budget that I think we can work within,” Skelos said. “There are obviously going to have to be some changes, legislative input. But I see no reason why we can’t have an early budget again this year for the fourth year in a row.”
The governor pointed out very clearly there is a path to universal pre-Kh throughout the state without raising taxes,