Broad Street Brief: Budget Hearings Begin Next Week 

March 21, 2024

City Hall

Mayor Parker, PPD to Clear Encampments from PHL

Mayor Cherelle Parker and the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) are clearing encampments of individuals experiencing homelessness from the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and connecting those in need with resources through the Office of Homeless Services (OHS). This initiative aligns with the mayor’s recent budget proposal, which would allocate $33 million toward enhancing public safety and $16 million to OHS. Similar measures have been implemented at airports nationwide.

Mayor Parker Makes Several Additions to Cabinet

This week, Mayor Parker announced several cabinet appointments, including Philadelphia’s first-ever director of Latino engagement, William Garcia.

Portion of Proposed FY25 Budget Includes “Courtesy Tow” Tracking Software

Mayor Parker’s proposed FY25 budget includes $225,000 for new police software to make courtesy towing more efficient and transparent, addressing long-standing complaints from residents about the lack of system-wide accountability.

Proposed Legislation Takes Aim at Scammers

Philadelphia’s Law Department aims to combat scams targeting residents by pursuing legal action against shady loan companies, Bitcoin scammers, and fraudulent contractors, among others, on behalf of consumers. Legislation has been introduced by City Councilmember Rue Landau (At Large) on behalf of the Parker Administration and has been assigned to the Committee on Commerce & Economic Development.

City Council Passes Kensington Curfew, Plate-Flipper Ban, Skill Game Regulations

This week, City Council passed bills imposing a curfew for select businesses in Kensington, prohibiting the use of license plate flipping devices, and regulating casino-style skill games, all of which now head to the Mayor’s Office for her signature. A bill that would require paid tax preparers to inform low-income clients about free services received first reading after being favorably reported from Council’s Committee on Commerce and Economic Development yesterday.

Upcoming Committee Hearings

Philadelphia City Council holds several public hearings throughout the legislative calendar year. Watch here.

  • A Committee on Commerce & Economic Development hearing on Thursday, March 21 at 1 p.m. will include testimony regarding the Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act of Pennsylvania.
  • A Committee on Appropriations hearing on Monday, March 25 at 1 p.m. will include testimony regarding proposed changes to City budget allocations for FY24, including appropriations adjustments for various city departments and commissions and revisions to the capital budget for the years 2024-2029.
  • A Committee on Commerce & Economic Development hearing on Monday, March 25 at 2 p.m. will include testimony regarding Philadelphia’s ability to train students from diverse backgrounds for jobs in the expanding life sciences field, particularly in the cell and gene therapy subsector.
Upcoming Budget Hearings

The full schedule of FY25 budget hearings and a link to watch them can be found here.

  • Five-Year Plan, Capital Program (Tuesday, March 26 at 10 a.m.)
  • Mayor’s Office (including Deputy Mayors), Labor Department (Tuesday, March 26 at 1:30 p.m.)
  • Department of Finance, Department of Revenue, Tax Bills (Wednesday, March 27 at 10 a.m.)
  • Board of Pensions, City Treasurer & Sinking Fund, Public Testimony re: Tax Bills (Wednesday, March 27 at 1:30 p.m.)

Around Town

Phillies Announce Collaboration with Comcast Spectacor to Redevelop South Philadelphia Sports Complex

The Philadelphia Phillies announced Thursday that they plan to partner with Comcast Spectacor on a proposed $2.5 billion project to transform South Philadelphia’s stadium district into a mixed-use sports and entertainment complex.

PHLHousing+ Pilot Program Aims to Bridge Gap Created by Housing Voucher Wait List

Philadelphia's PHLHousing+ pilot program offers cash assistance to 300 low-income households from the city's housing voucher waitlist, aiming to address long wait times and barriers faced by traditional voucher programs, with potential implications for rental subsidy models nationwide.

Germantown’s Residential Development Surge Stokes Hope for Future

In recent years, residential development projects have surged in Germantown, sparking both hope for improvement and concerns about the pace of change and its potential impact on community dynamics.

Wait Times, Contaminated Drug Supply Pose Challenge for Those Trying to Access SUD Treatment

A new report from Thomas Jefferson University highlights challenges in Philadelphia’s fragmented substance use disorder (SUD) treatment system. The report suggests implementing reforms such as increasing inpatient beds for those with public insurance, expanding outpatient care, and addressing the effects of the opioid crisis, particularly xylazine contamination.

Speed Cameras on Philadelphia’s Most Hazardous Road Improve Safety

Speed cameras installed on Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia have significantly reduced crashes, injuries, and deaths, prompting plans for a redesign of the boulevard and expansion of the speed camera program to other roads in the city.

Rittenhouse Square Lawn Restoration Project Beginning Soon

A project to restore Rittenhouse Square’s lawns — funded by a $200,000 Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program state grant — will close sections of the park over the next four years, ensuring its sustainability for future generations amid increased wear and tear.

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Joseph Hill

Managing Director, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

(215) 665-2065

Brianna A. Westbrooks

Government Relations Associate, Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies

(215) 665-4757

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