So what about that Cuomo remark on Susan Arbetter's show, saying people who disagree with him about social issues or the Second Amendment "have no place in the state of New York"? I'm not sure what pecentage of New Yorkers that might be, but the number 47 seems about right.
Universal pre-K backed by NY gov won't come cheap says the headline today on an AP story in The Wall Street Journal. "How Cuomo intends to pay for it is not yet clear, but he may offer some insight Tuesday when he releases his 2014-15 budget proposal."
Actually, a lot about this is "not yet clear." In the Jan. 9 State of the State, the governor said "we formed the new New York Education Reform Commission headed by Dick Parsons, they have done extraordinary work; they have called for a full day Pre-K ... We can do better, we must do better, we will do better, let's invest in the future ... It is time for New York State to have universal full day Pre-K statewide."
The first recommendation in the final report of Cuomo's commission says the state should "commit to developing a clear plan to expand access to high-quality full-day pre-k, starting with New York's highest-need students" -- which sounds more reasonable and less ambitious than the State of the State. Expanding pre-K options for poor children makes a lot more sense than a "universal" baby-sitting entitlement -- or requirement? i.e. would it become compulsory? -- to solve a problem that for most people doesn't exist.
Creating further confusion is the campaign by new New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to fund pre-K by taxing the rich, which is more or less the opposite of Cuomo's tax plan. So where does Cuomo aim to find the money? A bond act to add to the state's already heavy debt load (probably justified with some dubious tech spending thrown in on smart boards or whatever the new fashion is)? Does "universal" pre-K make any sense when cash-strapped local districts are cutting educational programs such as art and music? Why not give them the money instead of cutting taxes (as Cuomo is apparently poised to propose)?
In other news, the governor has been making headlines lately on the Capitol Pressroom radio show of Susan Arbetter, who will have a rather more obscure guest on Monday (Martin Luther King Day), viz. me talking about da book (General Gordon Granger: The Savior of Chickamauga and the Man Behind "Juneteenth" by Robert C. Conner). Thanks to her for a skillful and knowledgeable interview (taped Friday as if live, at the LCA in the Capitol). The show starts at 11 a.m. Monday, when you can listen online, and airs at various times over 22 stations in upstate New York.
I'll also be giving a talk and book signing on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the Malta Library off Route 9 (you can register here, though I don't think they'll turn anyone away). And here, by the way, is a free Gazette clip about the book.