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Living-Wage Bill Intact
Crain's New York
Bob Hardt

December 14, 2011
View the Original Article

Living-Wage Bill Intact

Despite a tabloid report that the living-wage bill has been watered down, no changes have been made, a spokesman for the Living Wage NYC coalition said. “The Daily News story was inaccurate,” he said. The piece mentioned one provision that would actually strengthen the bill and another that was already in it. Proponents previously revised the bill to exempt small businesses and projects that receive less than $1 million in subsidies. They would likely be amenable to other changes if they would entice Chris Quinn to bring the measure to a vote. The bill would raise the minimum wage to $10, plus benefits, at subsidized sites.

Wage Bill Cheered Most by Blacks

Bill Thompson, the only African-American candidate for mayor, hasn't made up his mind on the City Council's living-wage bill, but almost all other black voters like it. A Quinnipiac poll of city residents released yesterday found 84% of black voters considered the bill a “good idea,” compared with 77% of Hispanics and 67% of whites. But party affiliation, as much as race, was the driving factor: 83% of Democrats liked the bill. Thompson's Democratic rivals, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Chris Quinn, are also on the fence, but staying undecided in the face of such heavy support among Democratic voters might require defying political gravity.