On Tuesday, a City Council committee debated the proposed living wage bill, a controversial legislation that would require companies subsidized by the city to pay employees a minimum of $10 an hour with benefits or $11.50 without benefits.
The proposal would only affect companies receiving $1 million or more in subsidies and small business and manufactures would not be affected. Still, the bill has divided the City Council.
We should retain our reputation of being a progressive city. And so I don't understand the opposition to this, said Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James, according to NY1. However, others contend that the bill will drive business out of the city.
We are here to tell you, if you're willing to listen, that your theory is wrong. This bill will not solve the problem of a shrinking middle class. It will only lead to more people being unemployed, said Robert Bookman of the New York Nightlife Association, according to NY1.
City Council speaker Christine Quinn has not voiced her opinion on the issue yet. She has the power to effectively kill the bill by not bringing it to the floor for a vote. Quinn's press office told IBTimes that last night's meeting was for Quinn to learn more about the issues on the proposed legislation, but she has not taken firm position on the bill, yet.
The point of today's discussion is, can we find a balance, can we raise people's wages without stagnating job growth? said the speaker, according to The New York Times. I'm going to obviously be taking in the information I heard, digesting it, and we'll move forward one way or another from there.
The Catholic Church has spoken out regarding the bill. Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, the executive director of Catholic Charities, has been vocal on the issue, as previously reported by IBTimes.
The key to people being able to support themselves and their families is a dependable job and a decent salary, Msgr. Sullivan told IBTimes on Tuesday.
Archbishop Dolan also voiced his opinion. While he did not outright express his support for the proposed bill, , he cited the Bible saying that it his belief that everyone deserves a fair salary, on Tuesday.
Every living being is entitled to a fair and decent wage, Archbishop Dolan told IBTimes.