March 01, 2013 at 16:06 PM EST
Thompson comes out in favor of paid sick bill
For three years, mayoral contender Bill Thompson's position on the City Council controversial paid sick leave bill has been difficult to nail down. He has always said he supports paid sick leave in concept , while sidestepping the thornier question of whether he backs the bill pending in the council. In some articles, he's mentioned as a supporter of the bill, which would require New York City businesses with five or more employees to provide at least five paid sick days. In other stories, his position is murkier. Lately, he's left the rhetoric and fist-pumping to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John Liu, who have taken Council Speaker (and Democratic frontrunner) Christine Quinn to task for preventing a vote on the measure. But on Friday, after some prodding by The Insider— prompted by a curious exchange during a Thursday night mayoral forum in Harlem —Mr. Thompson is finally ready to have his say. "Bill Thompson believes in paid sick leave for New Yorkers," his campaign spokesman said. "He encourages the City Council to pass this bill which—though imperfect—still brings our city closer to where it needs to be in supporting its working men and women." A majority of council members support the bill. And polls show most voters support paid sick leave, but the bill is strenuously opposed by leaders of the city's business community, which so far have been successful in persuading Ms. Quinn to block its passage. "We're proud to have Bill Thompson's support for this issue," Working Families Party deputy director Bill Lipton said in a statement. "He understands how critical it is for low-wage workers to be able to care for their health and their families without risking their jobs." Sources close to Mr. Thompson predict the candidate will have more to say on the issue in the weeks to come, perhaps even going so far as to present his own proposals for paid sick leave.
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