Mayor announces new program to expand health care coverage for New Yorkers

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On consecutive days this week, the mayor announced a program guaranteeing healthcare coverage for all New York City residents and a measure to mandate 10 days paid vacation time for all workers. "We as a country must get there, and New York City will lead the way".

All services will be affordable on a sliding scale.

Those proposals, along with those for universal health care and guaranteed paid leave are still only that - proposals. "To be the fairest big city in America, New Yorkers can't be forced to choose between bringing home a paycheck and taking time off to just disconnect or spend time with loved ones - that choice ends with paid personal time".

To help people save for their retirement, the mayor intends to work with the City Council to require all employers with at least five employees to either offer access to a retirement plan or auto-enroll their employees into the city plan, with a default contribution out of the employees' own earnings of 5 percent (which could then be increased or reduced by the employee).

He also re-upped a 2016 proposal to create a public retirement system for the 2 million New Yorkers who do not have employer-sponsored savings programs.

On education, the mayor said the city will continue to build out his 3K initiative offering the full day program in Washington Heights, the South Bronx, East New York, Staten Island, Bushwick and Soundview.

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In November, Democrats in the City Council have introduced 18 new bills that would restrict landlords' abilities to change tenancies and extract more rent from building residents.

Almost half of the New York City workforce, or about 2 million workers, do not have employee-sponsored retirement plans, the mayor said at this State of the City.

Both stories being leaked first to national press, as opposed to local papers, had local journalists grumbling about - if not outright offended by - yet another display of the mayor's disdain for local NYC media, revealed explicitly previous year in a series of emails released on court order.

Using publicly available data, the land access group 596 Acres mapped out 208 lots of city-owned land sold or pending sale for $1 to developers since the beginning of the de Blasio administration in 2014.

Could the recent rollout of new city programs be a sign that Mayor Bill de Blasio is eyeing a run at the White House? "Well-connected developers should not be getting sweetheart deals on the taxpayers' dime".

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