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Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:30 am

Public prefers pre-K with no new tax on income, poll finds

A plurality of voters across the city and state want prekindergarten to be available to everyone, but they don’t want it to be mandatory and they don’t want to hike taxes on high earners to pay for it, a new survey by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute reports. The results, released Tuesday, indicate greater support for Gov. Cuomo’s pre-K plan than for that of Mayor de Blasio, who made universal preschool a focus of his campaign and his six-week-old administration.

Among city respondents, 49 percent back Cuomo’s proposal, which would fund pre-K statewide without raising taxes, while 40 percent prefer de Blasio’s plan, which would pay for citywide pre-K by raising the tax rate on Gothamites’ income above $500,000 from 3.9 to 4.4 percent. Statewide, Cuomo’s plan was favored over de Blasio’s 47 to 37 percent.

Seventy-six percent support state funding of pre-K in general, with 78 percent saying it would improve children’s education.

“Just about everyone in this most liberal of states likes universal pre-kindergarten and they think — overwhelmingly — that kids will learn and that it will help them out of poverty,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “But voters prefer Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s no-new-taxes approach to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tax-the-rich plan to pay for those new classes.”

To see the full survey, visit quinnipiac.edu and click on the “Institutes + Centers” button.

Avella calls on library chief to quit over $$

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Whitestone) on Monday urged Queens Library President and CEO Tom Galante to step down over the revelations that he earns at least $392,000 a year, had his office renovated at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars and also earns a six-figure salary from a Long Island school district.

In a letter to Galante, also sent to the press, Avella said his compensation —which some members of the City Council say is actually $446,000 — is too high, that his office renovations are questionable, and that his job with the Elmont School District is unacceptable.

Avella said he has always considered Galante a friend and acknowledged that he is devoted to the library — but that “with deep regret,” he must ask that he resign over the controversy.

Schumer seeks ban on cancer-linked additive

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) this week called on the Food and Drug Administration to ban azodicarbonamide from food products such as bread. The chemical is used to make rubber products more pliable but has made its way into food, Schumer said, despite being known to cause cancer. Fast-food chain Subway stopped using it last week but many others have not, he said. The substance is banned from use in food in the European Union and Australia.

Changes to Soc. Sec. office policies delayed

In response to feedback, the Social Security Administration is delaying two cuts to services at its field offices until later this year.

Starting in August, the offices will no longer issue Social Security number printouts. Individuals who need proof of their Social Security number will need to apply for a replacement.

Starting in October, the offices will stop providing benefit verification letters, except in emergency situations. Benefit verifications are available at socialsecurity.gov/myaccount or by calling 1 (800) 772-1213.

Americans leaving NYS

New York State lost 104,470 residents, more than any other state, to domestic migration in the 12 months ending last July 1, according to new Census data highlighted by the Empire Center for New York State Policy, a think tank. Foreign immigration made some of the loss, leaving New York in 41st place overall.

— compiled by Peter C. Mastrosimone

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