Bloomberg Vetoes Living Wage Bill, Promises Court Fight

Mayor Bloomberg made good on his promise to veto the living wage bills Wednesday, CBS reports, and promised legal action if City Council overrides the veto.

“It’s the government’s job to stand up for taxpayers and job seekers,” Bloomberg said at a press conference. “These two bills would make it harder and more costly to bring economic opportunity to all five boroughs, they would make it harder and more costly for businesses to start, harder and more costly for businesses to stay, and harder and more costly for businesses to strive,” Bloomberg said.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced a watered down deal on the living wage agreement earlier this month, which will require businesses receiving $1 million or more in city subsidies and earning more than $5 million a year in revenue to pay their workers at least $11.50 an hour, or $10 with benefit.

Although experts expect the revised bill will effect roughly only 500 New Yorkers, it's become a flashpoint for differing economic philosophies. Whereas Quinn championed the legislation as "the most impactful living-wage law in the United States," Bloomberg compared the bill to communism. "The last time we really had a big managed economy was the USSR and that didn't work out so well," he said during an appearance on WORS.

(And yet, Bloomberg has quietly, unofficially endorsed Quinn to succeed him as mayor.)

Anticipating City Council (which originally passed the bill in a 46-4 vote) to override his veto, Bloomberg says he will take his fight to court. "Both bills are based on legally dubious theories," he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "And if they become law, we will challenge them in court."