Monday, February 1, 2010

Ravenstahl Unsure of Prevailing Wage Bill

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says he will review any prevailing wage legislation passed out of City Council and then decided if a veto is in order. With just hours remaining in 2009 the Mayor killed a bill that would have forced anyone benefiting from city-subsidized development to pay workers the going wage in the city. Despite a 9-0 vote earlier in December the council was unable to override the veto because 6 votes could not be found New Years Eve. The new council reintroduced the bill last month and it quickly moved through a hearing and preliminary vote. Council is expected to take a final vote Tuesday. Ravenstahl says he will not make a final decision on the bill until all amendments have been considered. He says the legal department has serious concerns about the legality of the bill and he will not sign anything that he believes in unenforceable. However, he says if the vote in 9-0 in favor of the bill he will not veto it. He says, “I’m not looking for another fight.” The bill has been amended several times since it was introduced and more amendments are expected to be introduced before Tuesday’s final vote. Ravenstahl says he stands by the decision to veto the measure the first time. “[It] allowed us to come back to the table, it allowed us to improve the bill. I don’t know if it allowed us to improve the bill to the point where we think it is legally enforceable or a good bill, but it has resulted in positive discussions this month,” says Ravenstahl. He says he is, “hesitant to put his name on a bill he feels will hold the city liable in the future.” Ravenstahl believes the city council cannot pass rules that will govern the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

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