Christine Quinn: No Rebate Checks for Christmas

The $400 rebate checks wouldn’t reach home owners in time for Christmas, said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

“Just numerically, it is not possible for these checks to arrive before Christmas, even if they were sent out, you know, today, it’s just not possible,” said Quinn in a scrum with reporters in City Hall. She also said the checks should be sent out as soon as possible, but that Michael Bloomberg’s refusal to do so shouldn’t be settled in court.

“This shouldn’t be in the courts,” said Quinn, and “the checks should be sent out and we should stop wasting court counsel’s time in court.”

A judge today delay a decision on the case for a week, giving Quinn and the mayor time to negotiate the issue.

The mayor has declined to send out the checks, saying the city can’t afford the $256 million in lost revenue now.

Quinn though, said, making up the lost revenue “with all due respect, is not an appropriate budget negotiating question,” because “you’re bound by the law as it relates to some of your spending.” That obligation, she said, includes sending out the rebate checks.

“In this year’s budget, the rebate checks are not cut-able,” she said.

I asked her about Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler’s comment to reporters yesterday that “Laws can be negotiated. And they can also be rescinded.”

“Is he technically correct that the law can be changed? Sure. In a reality-based answer, the law is not going to be changed,” Quinn said.