Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Council Speaker Chris Quinn Still Mulling Paid Sick Leave Bill: By Adam Lisberg - The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

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City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told the Crain's Small Business Symposium this morning that she still hasn't made up her mind whether to support the bill mandating paid sick leave for all but the smallest employers in New York.

But she also seemed to acknowledge that the large number of sponsors in the City Council could vote it out even if she ends up opposing it, reports City Hall Bureau Chief Adam Lisberg: She said she wants to wait until the Partnership for New York City releases its analysis this fall, which she said would offer a “neutral” perspective.
“We will look at that bill. Is it a good idea, is it a nice idea that everybody would have paid sick leave? Of course it is. Right? And would we all like to say we helped people get paid sick leave and make it easier for themselves and their families? Absolutely. Could that be a bill that is a bad thing at this moment in time? Yes. And there is, there are those two potential things fighting against each other in the debate on this, and they're both compelling, which is why in an unusual way, I have yet to take a final position on the bill.”
As for bringing the bill to a vote, “I don't know yet," she said.

"There are other ways for members to bring bills to the floor beyond the speaker. The speaker doesn't like when that happens. Want to be very clear about that. (She's kidding here -- I know you lose tone on the web. - CK) But [I] only move bills that I support to the floor, and I have not yet taken a position. If I support it I'll move it to the floor. If I don't, I won't, and if was moved to the floor, try to get it defeated.”

Regarding her timetable, “I'm going to give myself the leeway of the fall. Not the month of September but the fall. Which, you know, winter doesn't start until Dec. 21, I'm just saying. And then there's holiday shopping, you know -- no, I'm only kidding. In the fall, in the fall, in the fall.”

Update: The Working Families Party weighs in after the jump.

Statement from WFP spox Dan Levitan:

"After a year of public debate, two City Council hearings, polls showing its overwhelming popularity, and studies by multiple economists, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other cities with similar laws, yet another paid sick days study is simply an unneeded delay. 1.3 million New Yorkers cannot take a day off when they get sick. They have waited long enough, and the Council should take a vote on this critical legislation."

The WFP also questioned the “neutrality” of the Partnership for New York City’s study, noting that the Partnership has publicly opposed the Paid Sick Time act since the bill’s introduction in the City Council last year, and has testified against the bill at two City Council hearings.

The study will also be conducted through the city’s Chambers of Commerce, who have boasted about leading the effort to defeat the paid sick days proposal and have already been caught exaggerating the costs of providing paid sick leave.