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Council Overrides Bloomberg Veto on Wage Bill

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Yasmeen Khan/WNYC)

The City Council voted Tuesday to override Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of the so-called prevailing wage bill on Tuesday — meaning some building employees working at developments that benefit from city funds will soon earn more money.

The Council voted 44 in favor of overturning the veto and four against it.

Bloomberg said Tuesday that he doesn’t think the bill is “the right piece of legislation” and vowed to take the measure to go to court .

“In this day and age, this is not appropriate legislation if we want to get companies to come here and build this city,” he said, adding he believed this bill was designed for one specific supporter in mind. “We believe we will prevail in court and it will not go into effect.”

The mayor vetoed the bill last month saying it would hurt the city’s economy by forcing some employers, but not other, to pay certain workers higher wages.

“This veto override very simply will send the message that the City Council believes that it is appropriate that when they decide it is good for their business plan to rent space to the city of New York as tenants -  that it is appropriate for the city when using taxpayer dollars to set a standard that it is fairer around wages,” Speaker Christine Quinn said ahead of the veto.

But several City Council members, including Daniel Halloran of Queens, voiced their disapproval.

“I don’t believe that at any point the government should be dictating to our small and mid-sized businesses what they should be doing with their wages,” he said.

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