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HomeTop NewsPols want Hochul hubby’s biz to hike wages or stay out of $1.4B Bills stadium

Pols want Hochul hubby’s biz to hike wages or stay out of $1.4B Bills stadium


State lawmakers want the company employing the husband of Gov. Kathy Hochul to pay its workers more – or risk losing any chance at lucrative contracts in the new Buffalo Bills stadium that she foisted on state and local taxpayers to the tune of $850 million. New York’s First Gentleman Bill Hochul is senior vice president and general counsel at Delaware North, a company that manages “concessions, premium dining and retail services” at the current Bills stadium. The sprawling company also operates a range of businesses on four continents, including a restaurant group that oversees food services at locations like the Empire State Building and the Metropolitan Opera, according to the company website. Newly introduced legislation would require any company that wants business at publicly-supported professional sports facilities to pay workers at restaurant subsidiaries the full minimum wage rather than the tipped wage allowed by state law. “We still have a two-tiered minimum wage system … one place to start [changing things] is with this stadium, which is being financed by public money, so that we’re not using public tax dollars to finance sub minimum wages,” state Sen. Jabari Brisport (D-Brooklyn) told The Post. Food service workers in New York City earn as little as $10 per hour before tips while their counterparts upstate make even less. Any company that wants business at stadiums, arenas and related facilities receiving public support would have to pay restaurant and other service workers the full downstate $15 minimum wage or the $13.20 upstate minimum under a bill sponsored by Brisport and Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens). Stay up on the very latest with Evening Update. Please provide a valid email address. By clicking above you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy . Thanks for signing up! Never miss a story. They say the legislation is in response to a deal reached weeks ago by Hochul, Erie County, and the team owned by billionaire Florida couple Terry and Kim Pegula. The state would foot at least $600 million out of the $1.4 billion price tag for the controversial new stadium, with another $250 million coming from local county funds – an agreement that a recent poll shows most New Yorkers oppose. “If there’s going to be all this money put towards stadiums then all stadiums that get money from the state should have to contract with employers that pay the minimum wage – not just in their stadiums but in all of their establishments,” Saru Jayaraman, president of the One Fair Wage supporting the bill, told The Post. “They have the capacity to pay the state minimum wage,” Kim said of Delaware North. The Queens Democrat added that he remains hopeful that the bill could pass the Legislature before lawmakers leave Albany for the year on June 2. The Hochul administration – which did not respond to a request for comment on the outstanding bill – has said that Bill Hochul is recusing himself from matters before the state. But a potentially lucrative contract at the future Bills stadium would nonetheless help the bottom line of the company that paid him somewhere around a half-million dollars last year, according to financial disclosures released by the governor’s office Tuesday. Advocacy groups like New York Communities for Change, the labor-backed Strong Economy for All coalition and One Fair Wage say the proposed bill will help level the playing field for service and restaurant workers who have taken the brunt of the pandemic and historically high inflation. “New York is one of 43 states that has this sub minimum wage … And it’s now become pretty much unlivable,” Jayaraman said.

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