Broad Street Brief: Council Looks to Incentivize Vaccines, New Police Oversight Board Passes Council 

June 3, 2021

CITY HALL

Counsel Looks to Incentivize Vaccines

Members of City Council will review two proposals to incentivize vaccines citywide. The first proposal would give residents a $50 credit to use on Philadelphia Gas Works and Water Department bills, and the other would create $50 vouchers that can be used “in a manner to be determined by the City.” Both proposals would be capped at 100,000 vouchers. See the press release for more.

New Police Oversight Board Passes Council

City Council approved Councilmember Jones’ bill that creates the “Citizens Police Oversight Commission,” which will replace the existing Police Advisory Board. While the new commission will have more power than the existing advisory board, it does not yet have access to a number of internal records that are required to thoroughly review complaints. This access privilege is expected to be a focus of the collective bargaining agreement between the city and police union. See the Philadelphia Tribune for more.

Medical Facility Transparency Bill Passes Council

A bill requiring the disclosure of the names of “all parties (direct and indirect owners)” as well as the public release of “finances and operator of facilities” when medical or long-term care facilities change hands passed council unanimously. Additionally, the bill will also grant workers “protection from being fired without cause for the 90 days following the sale.” The legislation was championed by Councilmember Thomas and comes after the sale and closure of Hahnemann Hospital in 2019. See more here.

Councilmember Green Seeks to Require Annual Contribution to Housing Trust Fund

Councilmember Derek Green introduced a bill and resolution that would require the city to appropriate 0.5 percent of the General Fund annually to the city’s Housing Trust Fund (HTF), which is used by the city to develop affordable housing. Creating more affordable housing has been a recent legislative focus for City Council as Philadelphia’s hot housing market prices push some lower-income buyers and renters out of homes. More information can be found here.

Councilmember Parker Targets 'Rule of Two' in City Hiring to Increase Diversity

Majority Leader Parker introduced legislation that would change the way the city handles hiring members of the municipal civil service. The current “Rule of Two” requires managers to only consider the two highest-ranking candidates for a job, which advocates for the changes say limits the diversity of the public workforce. Please see the press release for more.

Changes to Curfew Laws Sought by Councilmember Gilmore-Richardson

Councilmember Gilmore-Richardson is seeking to change the city’s curfew law for minors, removing the requirement that they be transported to a police station and eliminating fines. The proposal was written in collaboration with Office of Children and Families, the Department of Human Services, and the Philadelphia Police Department. More information is available here.

Council to Consider Regulations for Personal Delivery Devices

Council will consider a bill introduced by Councilmember Green that would create regulations for personal delivery devices (PDDs), small delivery vehicles that can operate remotely or with a driver. The proposed regulations, as introduced, would require operators to register with the city and allow the city to study the use of PDDs to determine if they pose hazards to pedestrians or travelers.

Next Week's Council Hearings: A Roundup

Since June 24 is City Council’s last meeting before its summer recess, City Council will hold a number of hearings next week. All hearings can be watched here. Learn more about the hearings and review meeting materials below.

·    Monday at 9:30am: The Finance Committee will consider the city’s application for federal HUD grants and PGW’s budget.

·    Monday at 2:00pm: The Transportation and Public Utilities Committee will consider adding an additional three years to the city’s contract with MarketPlace PHL, LLC to “manage [the airport’s] the food, beverage, retail and passenger services concession program.”

·    Tuesday at 8:30am: The Public Health and Human Services committee will consider two proposed COVID-19 vaccine incentive programs (please see above for more details).

·    Tuesday at 10:00am: The Committee of the Whole will consider the city’s capital and operating budgets for FY22 and will also consider changes to the parking, wage, and net profits, and business income and receipts taxes.

·    Tuesday at 1:00pm: The Law and Government Committee will review bills related to screening potential tenants by landlords and will also consider Home Rule Charter amendments for civil service hiring (see above), regular contributions to the Housing Trust Fund (see above) and creating a Department of Fleet Services.

·    Wednesday at 9:00am: The Committee on License and Inspections will review a proposal to “establish a program in which the City may perform certain urgent repairs and bill the property owner.”

·    Wednesday at 1:00pm: The Committee on Fiscal Stability and Intergovernmental Cooperation will hold a hearing to discuss “the fiscal position and overarching social impact goals of the City”.

Thursday at 1:00pm: The Committee on Labor and Civil Service will consider a bill to standardize requirement for companies that pay “charity water rates and charges” and a bill to require “hiring entities [to provide] covered individuals with a workforce and career pathways information sheet”.


Authors

Beth A. Brennan

Principal, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

bbrennan@cozen.com

(717) 773-4213

Joseph Hill

Senior Principal, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

jhill@cozen.com

(215) 665-2065

Brianna A. Westbrooks

Policy Adviser, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

bwestbrooks@cozen.com

(215) 665-4757

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