As we learned on Wednesday with the Community Safety Act, a mayoral race can do wonders to political priorities.
This week, the paid sick day bill in the City Council has been on a legislative roller coaster. At first, Christine Quinn, using her privileges as speaker, refused to allow the bill to come to a vote on the floor. She argued that the bill was “anti-business” and would hurt companies by forcing them to provide five paid sick days.
This is an election year, so the labor vote (the endorsement of the 32BJ union) is a serious mover/shaker. And now Daily News and Post have both reported that Quinn has agreed to negotiate on the bill.
However, the game is a bit different: The new legislation would exempt businesses with five or fewer employees (a feature Quinn is still trying to raise) and cut down employees’ bargaining ability. The sick days would at first only apply to companies with 20 employees or more, and then drop down to 15.
The deal is still not technically confirmed. Quinn’s people are denying that their leader has agreed to all this: “They’re negotiating. They’re making progress,” a spokesperson said.
However, if a deal is happening, the speaker is speculated to make an announcement later today. And, knowing how politics works, a confirmation is likely not far away.
The paid sick days bill is the latest move by the candidate to separate herself from Mayor Bloomberg, a staunch opposer of the measure. By throwing her support behind it, Quinn is emphasizing her Democratic qualities in an attempt to showcase herself as the candidate for the middle class, which she has made her campaign all about. Because, in an election, it’s all about image.
Luckily, this shift works in most of our favors. A mandate for paid sick days? Flip-flop for votes away!