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NYC Deal Is Key In Sick Days Push, Advocates Say

Quinn â¿¿ a leading Democratic candidate often seen as a Bloomberg ally courting business support â¿¿ had declined to bring the proposal to a vote, saying the idea was worthy but the time wasn't right economically.

But her Democratic rivals increasingly and publicly hammered her on an issue important to unions and other key Democratic constituencies. Steinem said last month she'd withdraw her support for Quinn, who would be New York's first female mayor, if there wasn't a vote on sick leave.

And some council members began planning a virtually unheard-of move to force a vote without Quinn's OK. Some 13 signed on, nearly twice the number needed, according to a person familiar with the maneuvering, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to talk about the private discussions.

Quinn said Friday that she'd changed her mind because of changes to the proposal, such as increasing the threshold from five employees to 15, reducing fines, holding off the implementation dates until next year and 2015, and including a proviso for further delays if the economy significantly worsens.

"It provides a critically important benefit to New Yorkers, and it does that without putting jobs at risk," she said. "It is simply the right thing to do."

But one of her rivals for the Democratic mayoral nomination, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, said the city hadn't gone far enough or fast enough to set a national example.

The city and state "have been the great progressive beacons in this country, and in this case, we simply weren't," he said.

New York's paid sick leave measure is narrower than those in Seattle, Portland and Philadelphia, which apply to businesses with more than five workers; those in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., apply to businesses of any size. A measure in Connecticut, however, kicks in at 50 workers.

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