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Trade unions say living wage bill will kill jobs (Read More…)

By: Reuven Blau Sunday, November 20 2011

Mayor Bloomberg says a hike in minimum wage would cripple small businesses.

Three city trade unions are bucking their labor colleagues and trying to crush a bill that would bump the minimum wage at some companies to $10 an hour.
The unions representing private-sector carpenters, painters and masons are urging lawmakers to reject the controversial measure that they say will kill jobs.

“This legislation is short-sighted and will make it more difficult for New York City to attract new businesses and jobs,” said Jack Kittle, political director of District Council No. 9 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

The politically charged, so-called “living-wage” proposal would obligate companies that get city tax breaks to pay employees $10 an hour, plus benefits — up from the current $7.25 minimum hourly wage.

The city’s largest unions have strenuously backed the legislation.

The bill’s supporters include the powerful 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Worker union and the Working Families Party.

“The reality is that the vast majority of New Yorkers support the living wage bill and want the City Council to pass it,” said Dan Morris, a spokesman for the Living Wage NYC Coalition.
Mayor Bloomberg contends the boosted minimum wage would cripple small businesses.

“The last time people tried to set rates, basically, was in the Soviet Union. And that didn’t work out very well,” he said last month.
Still, the bill’s backers point to other big cities that have adopted similar measures, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Jose. A rally in support of the higher wage is set for Monday night at Riverside Church.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn has ducked taking a position on the contentious issue for weeks.

A Council hearing set to review the bill is set for Tuesday.

That hearing may be as far the legislation goes: Quinn nixed a similarly controversial measure requiring paid sick leave after first allowing it to be debated at a hearing

Posted by Admin on 11/21 at 09:04 AM

Sup Ct to Hear Challenge to Health Care Reform (Read More…)

By Joanne Deschenaux
Nov. 14, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Nov. 14, 2011, to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the 2010 health care overhaul law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
The high court set aside 5.5 hours, probably in March, for oral argument. A decision will likely be issued in late June. The court will hear arguments on four separate issues:
• The constitutionality of the “individual mandate” – the requirement that almost every American obtain health insurance by 2014 or be subject to a financial penalty.
• Whether the overall law must fail if the individual mandate is struck down.
• Whether the federal Anti-Injunction Act, which bars suits “for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax” prohibits any challenge to the individual mandate until the first penalty is due in April 2015.
• Whether Congress exceeded its constitutional authority by expanding the eligibility and coverage thresholds that states must adopt to remain eligible to participate in Medicaid.

“We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and are confident the Supreme Court will agree,” said White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer in a news release issued after the court made its announcement.

“For the small-business community, this comes not a day too soon,” said Dan Danner, the CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. “The health care law has not lived up to its promises of reducing costs, allowing citizens to keep their coverage or improving a cumbersome system that has long been a burden to small-business owners and employees, alike. The small-business community can now have hope; their voices are going to be heard in the nation’s highest court.”

Three federal appeals courts have found the PPACA to be constitutional, while another has said it is not, calling it “breathtaking in its expansive scope.”

Posted by Admin on 11/14 at 10:10 PM