Bloomberg goes to state court to undo living wage law

From left: Workers on Hudson Yards' first building and Mayor Michael Bloomberg
From left: Workers on Hudson Yards' first building and Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking one more swipe at the City Council’s Living Wage Law before his January departure. In a new state court lawsuit, Bloomberg’s office argued that the law — which forces developers that receive $1 million or more in city aid to pay workers at least $11.50 an hour or $10 an hour plus benefits — illegally circumvents existing state and federal minimum wage laws.

His office also argued that the legislation illegally pulls power from the mayor’s office and gives it to the comptroller.

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Hizzoner first attempted to override the legislation with a veto, but the council passed the law in July 2012 anyway. Then he launched a federal lawsuit, but the court said he had no standing in federal court and tossed the case — hence the move to state court.

Bloomberg’s office argued in the most recent suit that the law is “materially indistinguishable from the Prevailing Wage Law,” which New York State Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Wright struck down in August, agreeing that it illegally took precedence over the state’s own minimum wage law.

Bloomberg has previously said he opposed the bill because he felt it would stifle development in New York by imposing increased costs on developers and job creators, who themselves have not been big fans of the legislation. The Real Estate Board of New York has argued that the bill, from which the Related Companies was exempted in a controversial move by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, would have little effect on the firm’s more than 500 Hudson Yards workers anyway. [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland