- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says universal pre-k needs one more push to get through the state Legislature.

De Blasio made the comment at a midday rally in Albany on Tuesday to try whip up support for a tax hike on wealthy New Yorkers to fund universal pre-kindergarten and expanded after-school programs. The tax is opposed by Cuomo and the Republicans in the state Senate.

Cuomo was addressing more than 3,000 charter school proponents at the same time.

De Blasio is holding a series of meetings with Cuomo and legislative leaders after the rally.

The lobbying comes less than a month before the April 1 budget deadline for Cuomo and lawmakers. Pleas for state funding typically become more urgent in March, while the budget is negotiated behind closed doors.

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