Council defies Bloomberg, passes living wage bill

TRD New York /
May.May 01, 2012 08:30 AM

City Council overrode Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto and passed the “living wage” bill yesterday, the New York Post reported. The bill guarantees a minimum pay of $10 an hour with benefits or $11.50 per hour without for workers on projects that receive city subsidies.

Bloomberg opposed the bill because he felt it would stifle development in New York by imposing increased costs on developers and job creators who already face obstacles from high regulation and taxation.

The council vote was announced at a rally yesterday, which City Council Speaker Christine Quinn “stormed” out of, the Post said, after a supporter called the mayor “Pharaoh Bloomberg.” She said the focus should be on the bill and not the mayor, but Public Advocate Bill de Blasio took it as an opportunity to jostle for the mayor’s seat and criticize Quinn and Bloomberg.

Despite the hoopla, the bill will have little impact in practice, a New York Times column argued. Approximately 0.013 percent of jobs in the city would benefit from the bill because of all the exemptions Quinn worked into the bill. Politicians efforts would have been better served fighting for a higher minimum wage and more unemployment benefits, the columnist said. [Post] and [NYT]

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