HARLEM — Mayor Bill de Blasio saw some "promising signs" for his agenda one day after it took a beating from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers.
Cuomo on Tuesday announced the framework of a deal with the legislature had been reached on several key issues for de Blasio, including an extension of the rent regulation laws, a revamping of the 421-a tax break and an extension of mayoral control of schools.
Though the framework didn't go de Blasio's way, the mayor said he was waiting to see how negotiations played out.
"Albany is continuing its session as we speak," de Blasio said at an unrelated press conference at P.S. 50 in East Harlem. "So I think we all need to step back and see where this process is leading us."
De Blasio wants permanent mayoral control of the schools, but got an extension of just one year.
That means de Blasio will have to return to Albany, hat in hand, next year to try again.
On rent regulation, de Blasio wants to end vacancy decontrol, which allows apartments to leave regulation once monthly rent reaches $2,500. Cuomo's framework slightly raised the cap for decontrol and tied future increases to decisions from the Rent Guidelines board.
The mayor also called for a major overhaul of the 421-a tax break or for it to be eliminated. Under Cuomo's framework, the tax break will be extended for another six months.
Both Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan have taken the framework back to their respective conferences. Its unclear when final deals will be announced.
The mayor claimed some small victories, crediting the Assembly for 421-a being "very much on the table" and "promising signs" on rent regulation.
"I think they’re seeing some real progress so far in what we’re hearing over the rent resolution in Albany, but it ain’t over till it’s over in Albany, so we’re going to wait and see what the final product is," said de Blasio.
De Blasio also refused to criticize Cuomo with whom he has had a rocky political relationship.
Jeanne Zaino, a professor of political science at Iona College, said de Blasio's difficulties in Albany can be traced to his difficult relationship with Cuomo but also to his failed efforts to elect a Democratic majority in the Senate.
"If he wants to lobby Albany he needs those Republicans as well. They have to look back at what they did during the election and they have to figure out how to do something different," she added.
Asked whether he thought his role in trying to elect Democrats to the Senate played a role in the results he received this legislative session, de Blasio disagreed.
"I think, as I’ve said many times, all over this country, it is normal for a member of a political party to support other members of that political party. It’s just as simple as that," said the mayor.
But with de Blasio's term approaching the halfway mark, establishing himself as a mayor who can win legislative victories in Albany is going to be even more important, Zaino said.
"He's going to face criticism on his ability to work with his own state legislature especially given his push of a progressive agenda outside of New York City," said Zaino. "If you are the mayor of New York City you have to be able to get things done in Albany, your own backyard."