Blasts Speaker Over Living Wage Bill Vote
The potential methods used by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to defeat the proposed “living wage bill” supported by 30 of 51 members of the New York City Council is nothing to cheer about, when you look into the details.
This measure would force companies to pay employees under any citysubsidized project $10 an hour with benefits or $11.50 an hour without benefits as opposed to the minimum wage currently at $7.25 per hour. Speaker Quinn has kept a bill proposed by Bronx Council members G. Oliver Koppell and Annabel Palma bottled up in committee for one year while she contemplates her political options. This bill finally went forward to a full public committee hearing a few weeks ago.
As an all but publicly announced candidate for mayor in 2013, Speaker Quinn has to make a choice by affording all 51 Council members a vote which will either make labor happy or the business community happy. In the meantime, she continues to raise campaign contributions from both the labor unions and business people along with the usual City Hall “Pay for Play” crowd.
Her potential method in defeating this legislation is to deny 50 other members of the New York City Council the right to vote up or down on the proposed legislation. Wasn’t Quinn elected to represent voters of her West Village district and not all five bor- oughs? Her actions denied almost eight million New Yorkers a direct say regardless of their side of the issue.
To maintain control of the Council, Speaker Quinn continues handing out lulus to loyal members from $4,000 to $28,000 per year for chairing Council Committees. She tolerates Council members with potential conflicts of interest by allowing income from outside second jobs and campaign contributions from City Hall Pay for Play contributors including unions real estate, businesses and political action committees. Many of these are looking for favors in return at taxpayers expense.
She allows the wasteful spending of Council members administrative budgets used to pay for personal office items. She supported allocating millions of dollars in member items for local pork barrel projects. Perhaps all of the above is why the so-called reform Progressive Council caucus has been so silent on this outrage. They appear to practice never biting the hand that “feeds” you.
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