Council and Kenney Reach Budget Compromise
After extensive debate and negotiations, City Council approved an amended version of Mayor Kenney’s budget proposal late last night. City Council championed additional investments in anti-violence programming, the Poverty Action Fund, and cultural venues. Although Councilmember Domb pushed for cuts to the business income and receipts tax, his amendment failed to proceed out of committee. In the end, only the wage tax was reduced, and the reduction is greater for Philadelphia residents than suburban commuters. The budget will be up for a final vote in City Council next week, and more details about the budget can be reviewed here. Although City Council will be heading into its summer recess, several Councilmembers committed to discussing tax reform during the hiatus. Public policy discussions will continue during the break; contact a member of the Public Strategies team for more information.
Council Passes Two Tenant-Support Bills Out of Committee
The Law and Government committee approved two bills authored by Councilmember Brooks, both intended to provide greater protections and transparency for potential renters. The first bill would require a “uniform, written rental screening” and, should a rental application be denied, a “written statement of reasons for that denial” from the landlord. The second bill would prevent landlords from accessing certain eviction records and allow rejected applicants a chance to “dispute incorrect information or provide evidence of mitigating circumstances.”
Bill on Workforce Training and Career Pathways Advances Out of Committee
A bill requiring employers to provide the city information on provided workforce training and career pathways advanced out of committee last week. Sponsored by Councilmember Katherine Gilmore-Richardson, the bill is supported by the Philadelphia AFL-CIO and Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Gilmore-Richardson’s Curfew Law Changes Move Out of Committee
Proposed changes to the City’s curfew law for minors was approved out of committee last week. The bill removes fines associated with breaking curfew and no longer requires police to take the young person to a police district.
Bill on ATVs and Dirt Bikes Awaiting Mayor’s Signature
New regulations on ATVs and dirt bikes passes City Council, legally defining these vehicles and making them illegal on city Streets. Once the bill receives the mayor’s signature, Philadelphia Police will be able to confiscate these vehicles. The Inquirer has more.
Delaware County Businesses Receive $6.3 million in COVID-19 Aid
Using aid earmarked by Harrisburg, Delaware County officials announced that over 200 Delaware County hospitality businesses were awarded $6.3 million in aid. The county reported that “[it] was able to provide a grant to every eligible business that applied.” For more please see the press release.
Delaware County Approves Long-Term Loans for Renewable Energy Systems
The Delaware County Council approved the creation of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (or C-PACE) loans for homeowners. Intended to support building “renewable energy systems, energy efficient equipment, and fixtures that reduce water consumption”, the loans will be “long-term” and “low-cost”. Please see the press release for more.
Court Refuses to Intervene in Bucks County Fracking Ban, Calling it a Political Issue
A federal judge said a lawsuit filed over a fracking ban was a political issue and did not merit a judicial decision, granting a victory to the Delaware River Basin Commission, which had enacted the ban officially in February. The lawsuit attracted attention from Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike. The Courier-Times has more.
Next Week’s Council Hearings
City Council will hold only one committee hearing next week. Pease click on the link for more.
Monday at 1:00pm: The Committee on People with Disabilities and Special Needs will hold a hearing on enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Community Autism Peer Specialist program.