Cuomo touts pre-K expansion, but avoids funding question

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo made it clear Monday that he wants to continue to push for prekindergarten statewide, but sought to avoid a thorny debate with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio about how to pay for it.

In a news conference Monday, Cuomo refused to engage in the difference of opinion over funding.

Cuomo’s election year plan is to focus on tax cuts and improving the state’s image to attract employers. Meanwhile, the newly inaugurated de Blasio seeks a tax on the wealthiest city residents to make sure expansion of prekindergarten has a steady source of revenue.

“There is no doubt that pre-K is the way to go and that it should be accelerated,” Cuomo said. “Once we get there on the goal, then the question is: how do you pay for it? And that is going to be a broader conversation with the Legislature when everything else is on the table.”

Cuomo is set to deliver his State of the State address Wednesday, outlining his 2014 agenda.

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