Wednesday, April 13, 2011
This week, his spokesman Bret Collazzi said the councilman is waiting for an official hearing to be held on the legislation before he takes a stance.
“He’s open to the idea, but he’s not there yet,” Collazzi said. “He’s met with both sides, he’s interested in it, but he won’t make a decision until the hearing.”
The fate of a hearing lies in the hands of Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has said that she's opening to the Council having one. Quinn spokeswoman Maria Alvarado said nothing has been scheduled yet.
"No hearing date has been set at this point, but the committee is continuing to work on finding a date," she wrote in an E-mail.
The living wage bill has lingered in the Council for almost a year; it was introduced last spring by Council Members Oliver Koppell and Annabel Palma, and has strong backing from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., who led the effort to defeat the city’s plan to build a mall at the Kingsbridge Armory, mainly because the developer would not guarantee that retail workers be paid a living wage. [Corrected from an earlier version]
The bill currently has the support of 29 members, short of the 34 that would be needed to override a likely mayoral veto. Mayor Bloomberg has been vocal about his opposition to a living wage requirement on the grounds that it would harm small businesses and discourage development.
The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act would apply to any development project that receives more than $100,000 in tax breaks or city subsidies.
“We even exempted some small businesses to make sure we weren’t hurting small businesses that might not be able to pay these wages,” Council Member Koppell said at a rally for the legislation last month. “We worked hard to craft this bill so that there can be no exceptions [to it].”