Just as he said he would, Mayor Bloomberg today vetoed a living wage bill out of the City Council that would have mandated a higher wage for some workers (though not nearly as many as it originally meant to). And while doing so, Hizzoner even managed to get some digs into his presumed choice to replace him, Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Talking to the press before he signed his veto, Bloomberg explained his feelings:
Those bills - the so-called living and prevailing wage bills - are a throwback to the era when government viewed the private sector as a cash cow to be milked, rather than a garden to be cultivated. In those days, government took the private sector for granted. We cannot afford to go back to those days. We cannot take our economy for granted. And I will not sign legislation - no matter how well-intended - that that hurts job creation and taxpayers.
The gist of the bill was to mandate that developers of projects that receive substantial city subsidies must pay their employees at those projects a living wage of at least $10/hour. But as Bloomberg pointed out in his speech (which you can read all of here), even the bill's big proponent Quinn didn't always agree with its goals:
Bloomberg also took an indirect swipe at City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who he said delayed the passage of the hotly contested living wage legislation “to ensure that it would not apply to FreshDirect because it was clear that the bill would threaten” the company’s plan to relocate to the Bronx.
“But what about the next FreshDirect?” he asked. “It may decide not to stay—or not come at all—if we impose these wage mandates onto our economic development incentives.”
Naturally, Quinn quickly swiped back with a long press release saying, "It is disappointing that the Mayor today chose to veto a bill that would raise the standard of living for a group of working New Yorkers, and declared his intent to veto another. The City Council will move quickly to override these vetoes."