City Limits has teamed up with The Nation to cover the first 100 days of the de Blasio administration. Click here to read the series.
Bill de Blasio got what he needed out of the state budget that was unveiled over the weekend: $300 million a year over five years to run a universal prekindergarten program that was the centerpiece of his mayoral campaign and that many skeptics said would never be funded. He also got the state to back off a petty fight over a costless change to budget language that will allow the city to operate a housing subsidy program to begin reducing its record-high homeless shelter numbers.
But the mayor did not get all the money he wanted to get for UPK, or the dedicated tax on high earners he wanted to pay for UPK or very much for the middle-school after-school program that was part of the UPK concept. He did not get the ability to hike the city's minimum wage or the authority to install more traffic-enforcement cameras in the city, which he'd sought as part of his VisionZero initiative—his flagship public-safety program. And in the budget the state stripped the city of much of its control over the siting of charter schools—rescinding de Blasio's recent decision to deny co-locations to three schools, requiring the city to give charters space in public schools or pay for private space, giving charters the ability to challenge through arbitration the siting decisions made by the city and prohibiting the city from charging charters rent. In other words, every effort de Blasio made to wrest from the state greater control over city policy ended in failure, and City Hall lost power over charters, too.
Some will say those high casualty numbers indicate a failure of strategy or tactics on the mayor's part, but I don't think that's the case.
You can read more at thenation.com about what the state budget says about de Blasio's mayoralty so far.