Bill de Blasio Says He’ll Fulfill Horse Carriage and Living Wage Promises

Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Photo: NYC Mayor's Office)

Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Photo: NYC Mayor’s Office)

When it comes to his promises to ban horse carriages and expand the city’s living wage law, Mayor Bill de Blasio says he’s working on it.

The horse carriage ban was a major campaign issue — and secured him the backing of the Anybody But Quinn campaign funded in large part by New Yorkers for Clean and Livable Streets, or NYCLASS. But as the Observer reported last week, the animal advocates are fuming over the lack of progress on a ban some six months into his administration.

The mayor told reporters the city had just finished a “very intense session in the City Council” passing the budget, as well a long session pushing priorities in Albany.

“Now we’re going to turn to a series of new priorities, and certainly I’ve said many times, and I’ll say it again: I think we need to ban horse carriages in New York City and we’re going to act accordingly,” Mr. de Blasio said at an unrelated press conference on NYCHA funding.

But as the council heads into the summer doldrums, with committees and the full body meeting less often, the mayor offered no timeline for even introducing a bill, let alone rounding up enough votes to pass it.

“We’re working on the details now with the City Council, but clearly there’s going to be a legislative process,” he said.

In his State of the City address, the mayor also promised to expand the city’s living wage law, which requires businesses receiving $1 million in city subsidies to pay workers $10 an hour with benefits, or $11.50 without. The mayor said during the speech the executive order would come that month — in February. A column in the New York Times this weekend wondered what was taking so long.

“You’ll see additional steps shortly,” the mayor told the Observer.

So far, he said, his administration has dropped the lawsuit filed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg challenging the living wage law.

“We’ve moved in specific instances, like in Hudson Yards, to achieve additional living wage commitments,” he added.

They’ll look to do the same in other developments, Mr. de Blasio said, and the city will keep “acting aggressively” to get Albany to pass a minimum wage bill.

“All of these pieces go to together,” Mr. de Blasio said. “There’s going to be additional steps taken in the coming weeks on the living wage issue, including pieces we can take on an executive level. We’ll have to more to say on that shortly.”