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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: June, 2011

POSTED: Monday, June 20, 2011, 10:21 AM

Check out this great profile of James Henninger, a 66-year-old cop with stage four cancer.

John Baer argues that outgoing Council members shouldn't vote on tax issues.

Butt Buster reports on the bumpy ride along Glenwood Avenue.

POSTED: Friday, June 17, 2011, 3:20 PM

Here's the release:

MAYOR NUTTER ELECTED VICE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS

If Re-elected, Mayor Nutter on track to become President of The U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2012.

POSTED: Friday, June 17, 2011, 11:34 AM

Council moves forward with plan to raise property taxes to help fund school district.

Council also passed a controversial sick leave bill yesterday, along with legislation to revise the DROP program.

We profile U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a rising star in Congress who was among the first to call on colleague Anthony Weiner to resign.

POSTED: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 8:30 PM
Soda mogul Harold Honickman was all smiles before the start of City Council's regular session on Thursday. (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer)

In a major policy reversal, City Council tonight opted to raise property taxes for a second year in a row to help bailout the cash-poor school district, rejecting Mayor Nutter’s preferred soda tax proposal.

Voting 11-6 in favor, Council approved a plan that would raise property taxes for one year by 3.5 percent, providing $37 million to the district. They also expect to dip into the city’s surplus fund balance and raise parking meter fees, bringing the total aid for schools to $53 million.

The deal marked a major political defeat for Nutter, who put all his chips on the line for a second year in the row to try and pass a sugary drinks tax.

POSTED: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 7:55 PM

We may be near the finish line here. 

Council has been huddling behind closed doors for over an hour. They seem to be closing in on a funding deal for the schools that would include a 3.5 percent property tax hike and no soda tax. The funding package would likely also include some dollars from the city's cash surplus and revenue from increasing parking meter fees, for a total of about $50 million in aid.

But it's still not done yet. Mayor Nutter, who has spent the day lobbying for the soda tax, was in with Council recently. He claimed nothing was a done deal.

POSTED: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 2:55 PM

In the midst of all the hot button issues swirling in City Council today, including funding for the cash-strapped School District, supporters turned out for a controversial bill that would require most Philadelphia employers to provide paid sick leave to workers.

But some folks from Action United, a group that has been vocal in support of the bill, ticked off Councilman Darrell Clarke, a co-sponsor of the bill after they left a mass of fliers at his residence and on his car.

"You bring that to my house. It's personal," Clarke fumed at some Action United members outside of Council chambers. "I sponsored the bill (and) you all are attacking me."

POSTED: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 9:27 AM

Mayor Nutter went on television last night to fight for his proposed tax on sugar sweetened beverages while City Council considered ways to raise cash for the Philadelphia School District that don't involve raising taxes.

School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, meanwhile, is still fighting to keep her Promise Academy program funded as the district deals with a budget deficit.

Two City Council members -- Bill Green and Jim Kenney -- have very different positions on how the city's Board of Ethics plans to close a loophole in the campaign finance law.

POSTED: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 9:21 AM

2:15 -- Council's still not ready to vote and so they have recessed the hearing while they deal with their normal Thursday session. This is going to take even longer than we thought.

1:20 -- We hear that Council is working on a package of schools aid that could include a 3 to 3.5 percent property tax hike, a temporary 1 cent soda tax and a $10 million reduction from the city fund balance. In all they might be able to get $75 million for schools. But this is all still very fluid.

12:20 -- Ok, Council's hearing is over and they have recessed to talk about what to do behind closed doors. We hear the Mayor is very close to 9 votes for the soda tax, but it's not definite yet.

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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