PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Now that Mayor Michael Nutter has sent Philadelphia City Council word for the second time in less than a week that he’s vetoing recent legislation — the latest is a sick-leave bill — some Council members are accusing the mayor of hypocrisy.
In his veto message, Nutter said the bill mandating paid sick leave for most employees could put thousands of jobs at risk and discourage businesses from coming to Philadelphia (see related story).
Councilman Darrell Clarke, one of the measure’s cosponsors, called the mayor’s remarks “inconsistent.”
“This administration has either supported or even proposed a number of initiatives that were only for the City of Philadelphia, such as the sugar tax and one percent increase in sales tax, that in all accounts would have created burdens on some of the businesses in Philadelphia,” he told KYW Newsradio.
But Clarke says that when critics claim government should not mandate how businesses operate, he responds that their argument sends the wrong message.
“If we took that position years ago we would not have minimum wage, we would not have child labor laws that support workers’ rights,” Clarke says.
Another cosponsor of the sick-leave bill, Councilman Bill Greenlee, says they made 19 changes to the legislation to accommodate complaints from employers.
“We felt that we were cooperating with the business community to try to get the best bill for all concerned,” he says.
The sick-time bill passed by the bare minimum, nine votes to eight. If Council attempts to override the mayor’s veto when sessions resume in September, 12 votes will be needed.
Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060