Monday, July 14, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 4:54 PM
City Council President Darrell Clarke holds up one of the charts about the school budget and talks about the Philadelphia School District's budget on Monday, May 5, 2014.( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

City Council's departmental budget hearings have come to a close, and this year, like every year, there was no hearing on Council's own proposed budget. 

Asked for details about how the legislature spends the $15.8 million it allocates for itself, Council President Darrell Clarke's office directed reporters to its section in Mayor Nutter's budget proposal. That's a one-page document with broad allocations for different types of spending and a statement that says, "City Council did not provide matching budget detail prior to the printing deadline."

So Clout submitted a Right To Know Act request to see what else we can learn about Council's budget. And since Council does not provide this level of detail on its own Budget Center website, we thought we'd make it available to everyone:

POSTED: Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 2:28 PM
In this Friday, July 27, 2012, file photo, fireworks explode during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London. Philadelphia will not pursue a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, Mayor Michael Nutter announced on Wednesday. (AP Photo)

After a full year of serious consideration, Mayor Nutter has decided to withdraw Philadelphia from the bidding process to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, citing cost as the major factor.

Nutter told reporters that the city has a full plate, between hosting the international delegation of the 8th World Meeting of Families next year and potentially vying for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

“It is a tremendously costly endeavor,” he told reporters today.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 8:49 AM

Moms' crusade sparks Mayfair revival: their call to rebuild playground transforms an entire neighborhood

John Behr explains how at local health centers, you pay up, then pay up again for service. 

Two owners win the DN, Inky, Philly.com at auction. Katz, Lenfest to pay $88M. 

POSTED: Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 9:03 AM

In a letter to union officials, Gov. Corbett lashed out at opponents of his education policies who he says politicized the death last week of a student at South Philly's Jackson Elementary School. Regina Medina has the story.

Despite a slight uptick in his numbers, Corbett's poll numbers are still a big problem for the guv, according to John Baer. 

Delinquent property tax collections in Philadelphia are on the rise, Michele Tranquili reports.

POSTED: Friday, May 23, 2014, 1:32 PM
Pennsylvania Democrats gather at a "unity" breakfast at the Oregon Diner in Philadelphia. From left: U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, former Gov. Ed Rendell, Tom Wolf, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Democratic chairman Jim Burn, (blocked) Katie McGinty, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and state Treasurer Rob McCord. (Chris Brennan)

The three Democrats easily bested by Tom Wolf in Tuesday's Democratic primary election for governor are now unified behind the victor.  Just don't ask them any questions about it.

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady invited the candidates, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord and former state Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty, to breakfast with Wolf this morning at the Oregon Diner in South Philly.  The media was invited too but not allowed to listen in on the table talk.

Former Gov. Ed Rendell joined in and later insisted repeatedly that nobody present would answer any questions about the discussion.

POSTED: Friday, May 23, 2014, 8:22 AM
Just engaged Jefferson Rougeau, left, and Steven Creps pose for photographs on the steps of the state Capitol Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Harrisburg, Pa. Gov. Corbett on Wednesday said he will not appeal a ruling by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III that struck down the state's 1996 ban on same-sex marriage. (AP/File photos)

For the third time in three weeks, Gov. Corbett has surrendered on a controversial public policy that new Democratic nominee Tom Wolf could have used as a potent point of political attack.  Also in Clout today: U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz gets her Pennsylvania history wrong.  And state Rep. Dwight Evans asks voters to admire -- but not eat -- his election day cupcakes.

The Philadelphia School Partnership, a nonprofit that promotes school-choice policies, will pay a $1,500 fine to the city Board of Ethics for failing to register and report as a lobbying group in 2012 and early 2013, according to a settlement signed Wednesday.

And City Council President Darrell Clarke agreed yesterday to add a "safety-net" provision to legislation that would extend a city sales-tax increase so that, even if state lawmakers don't act on the issue this spring, the tax would be extended and the School District of Philadelphia would get $120 million next year.

POSTED: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 6:40 PM
Left, Councilman Jim Kenney (Kriston J. Bethel / Staff Photographer, file); Right, Jon Stewart disses Philadelphians.

It's not everyday an elected official puts a dare to a celebrity in the form of a piece of legislation. 

But that's what happened during Thursday's regular session of City Council, when Councilman Jim Kenney challenged "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart to come to Philadelphia and film a week of shows to make up for the diatribe he unleashed on the City of Brotherly Love during a segment of Tuesday night's episode. 

"With my tongue firmly pressed against my cheek," Kenney introduced the resolution that reads as follows:

POSTED: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 1:45 PM
Members of Philadelphians Organize to Witness, Empower and Rebuild (POWER) and local school children march a fake casket down Broad Street during a mock funeral held for the Philadelphia School District as part of a demonstration at City Hall in Philadelphia on Friday, May 9, 2014. ( COURTNEY MARABELLA / Staff Photographer )

Following intense criticism, City Council President Darrell Clarke agreed today to add a ”safety net” provision to legislation that will extend a city sales-tax increase so that, even if state lawmakers don’t act on the issue this spring, the tax will be extended and the School District of Philadelphia will get its $120 million next year.

“What we can’t do is allow ourselves to be in a position that if there’s some changes in the existing state provision or some changes in the proposal that we put forth, that we’re not in a position to take advantage of the extension of the sales tax,” Clarke told reporters today.

Last week, Clarke proposed giving $120 million of the revenue to the school district in its first year via extending the city sales tax from 7 percent to 8 percent and then gradually phasing in a 50/50 split of the revenues to fill coffers for the district and the city’s beleaguered pension fund.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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