In first NYC budget, de Blasio pushes pre-K, retiree healthcare

New York Mayor de Blasio delivers remarks at the plenary session of the U.S. Conference of Mayors
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the plenary session of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington January 23, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

(Reuters) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio included a tax on the wealthy to pay for universal pre-kindergarten in his first budget and proposed restoring $1 billion to a retiree healthcare fund that his predecessor's plan would have drained.

The proposal marks the first time in 20 years that a Democrat has drafted a spending plan for the biggest city in the United States. The Democrat-led City Council must approve a budget by the start of the fiscal year on July 1.

The centerpiece of de Blasio's plan, universal early education and an expansion of after-school programs, faces headwinds in the state capital, where Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a different funding source that doesn't require a tax hike.

A Republican leader in the state Senate has also said he won't allow lawmakers to vote on de Blasio's plan.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Nick Zieminski)