COUNCIL WORKS ON JOBS BILL

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A controversial bill to start up an $89 million job-creation program will get its first unofficial hearing in the City Council on Tuesday. The city wants to use the money for workfare, but the council-backed measure would instead funnel the money through the city employment department, funding public and non-profit community service jobs.

The bill, which is backed by 21 council members, promises to create 10,000 18-month jobs that would pay $7.49 an hour. The program would also provide health benefits, child care, and ten hours a week of job training. Money comes from the $33 billion that the federal government has earmarked for job training.

“Other cities have good job creation plans for this money,” said Benjamin Dulchin of the Fifth Avenue Committee, which helped shape the bill. “You can do good things with this money, and you can do it cheaply. But for ideological reasons, New York City is not.”

The proposal has support from a broad coalition of labor, religious and organizing groups, including the Central Labor Council, municipal labor union DC 37, the carpenter’s union and the Archdiocese of Brooklyn.

Council sources say the bill has a chance to pass, but would likely be kept on ice until Vallone completes his run for governor this November.