Archive: June, 2009
PA2010.com has a post up today ranking what it sees as the state's top 10 political consultants. You can read it here. Some very familiar local names -- Dan Fee, Neil Oxman, Elliot Curson and Ken Snyder -- make the cut.
John Baer talks to a veteran Democratic legislator from western Pennsylvania who suggests a cut-now, maybe-spend-later approach to solving the state budget fight.
Sty Bykofsky continues to keep an eye on the Pennsylvania SPCA, wondering if the agency's third CEO in four months will be able to quell long-running problems in the city's animal shelter.
And educators in the Philadelphia School District will look for the union colors today and tomorrow to show solidarity.
Ok, readers, it's time for another PhillyClout contest! The winner of this week's challenge can choose their prize: an XXL Daily News t-shirt or a Daily News cell phone holder.
Just email us (email@example.com) the answer to the following question by 6 p.m. on Tuesday. We'll choose a winner* at random.
Question: When is City Council's next regularly scheduled Thursday session?
City Council trashes a plastic bag ban.
The Clout column reports that City Council is all riled up over the Board of Ethics.
Mayor Nutter's press secretary Doug Oliver is among the honorees at the annual Fatherhood Awards.
Despite the rain, LOVE Park was packed this afternoon with more than a thousand union workers. "No contract, no peace," roared the crowd, mostly made up of members from the city's two non-uniform unions -- District Council 33 and District Council 47.
The contracts for all four municipal unions expire June 30. Mayor Nutter has said he needs $125 million in contract savings over the next five years to balance the budget. Union leaders today said they weren't taking it.
"Every working person is under attack today," said District Council 33 President Pete Matthews.
Catherine Lucey & Chris Brennan
The state Commonwealth Court today struck down the city's attempt to tighten local gun laws, ruling that only the state has the power to enact gun legislation.
Mayor Nutter last year signed five bills controlling guns in the city into law, despite a 1996 state Supreme Court ruling that only the Commonwealth has the power to control firearms. The National Rifle Association then challenged the move.
Today the Commonwealth Court upheld a Common Pleas decision to strike down two of the five laws, one that restricts gun purchases to one a month and bars people from acting as "straw purchasers" and the other which bans the purchase of semi-automatic weapons that hold clips with more than ten rounds.
Councilman Jim Kenney vowed to continue to fight for a plastic bag ban today, after his plastic bag legislation failed in City Council.
An agitated Kenney accused Jeff Brown, owner of 11 Shoprite stores in the city, of lobbying Council members to oppose the ban, which failed 6-10. Kenney called on environmentally conscious residents to boycott Shoprite stores.
In City Council chambers, Councilman Darrell Clarke just introduced the Nutter administration's legislation that would change the city pension program to provide a lower level of benefits for new hired. Clarke stressed that he was introducing the bill on behalf of the administration.
The proposed plan would combine a traditional pension - at a lower benefit rate than current employees receive - with a 401(k) plan into which workers pay. Because today is the final Council session of the season, the bill could not receive final passage until fall. But if it were to pass, any workers hired after July 1 would be retroactively subject to the terms.
The legislation introduced today is needed to amend city law. But any change to worker pensions would also have to be approved by the city's four municipal unions, whose contracts expire June 30. Union leaders yesterday criticized the proposal.