After the House of Representatives cancelled a scheduled vote to approve a $2-per-pack cigarette tax to fund Philly schools, a fired up Mayor Nutter likened it to anguish, harkening the words of JFK:
“You know, President John Kennedy said it often and it is just so absolutely true – the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who, in a time of moral crisis, do nothing. That’s what’s happened here.”
Nutter had harsh words for House Republicans today who decided not to reconvene as planned to vote on the bill. The School District of Philadelphia has been counting on its passage in order for schools to open on time this fall.
“There’s no reason whatsoever that our schools should not open on time and safely on Sept. 8, as planned by Dr. Hite, other than the fact that the General Assembly – at least the House Republican leadership – could not figure out how to come back for one day and do their job,” said Nutter.
“The one essential element of a legislative body is to vote. They’ve already approved this measure once. All they have to do is come back one time and approve it again. We need to be very clear about what has happened here. As a result of the House Republican leadership deciding not to bring the House back – after already announcing to the public that they were coming back on Aug. 4th 5th and 6th – now, as a result, Philadelphia schools will not be able to open on time and safely because they chose not to come and do their jobs. It is an absolute outrage and a disgrace.”
The House is expected to vote on the measure on or before Sept. 15.