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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: June, 2012

POSTED: Friday, June 29, 2012, 8:07 PM

Lost in the shuffle of the budget debate, City Council voted Thursday to repeal the late City Councilman David Cohen’s working families’ wage-tax-rebate law.

The law was set to go into effect in 2017 after being delayed several times by former Mayor John Street in 2006 and Mayor Nutter last year. Thursday the administration was successful –Council voted 10-6 to kill the law. Council members Cindy Bass, Jannie Blackwell, Wilson Goode Jr., Kenyatta Johnson, Dennis O’Brien and Mark Squilla voted against the repeal. Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez was absent.

The wage-tax-rebate –modeled after the state’s Low Income Tax Forgiveness program –would have provided relief to 165,000 Philadelphians earning 200 percent below the poverty line, said Revenue Commissioner Keith Richardson.

POSTED: Friday, June 29, 2012, 4:34 PM

Whatever you do, don’t call it a summer vacation.

In its last session before summer recess, Council Thursday approved a $3.6 billion budget that would delay Mayor Nutter’s property-tax overhaul for a year and increase taxes. Members were making speeches on the floor about a number of issues.

Kenney told his colleagues to have a nice summer before turning toward the press, “And I will say this again because I say it every year…we’re not, press, we’re not on a summer vacation.”

POSTED: Friday, June 29, 2012, 2:18 PM

Mayor Nutter’s Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships Desiree Peterkin-Bell will be moving on to work for the Obama for America campaign, the administration announced today. Check out the press release below:

Philadelphia, June 29, 2012 –Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships Desiree Peterkin-Bell will join the Obama for America campaign as Senior Advisor for Communications in Pennsylvania. In her role, Ms. Peterkin-Bell oversaw the Mayor’s communications strategy and managed long-term planning for the Administration. During her tenure, she increased the City’s social media presence, coordinated communications with many external stakeholders, and increased transparency in City government.

“Desiree is a trusted advisor, dedicated public servant and good colleague who has worked tirelessly to communicate with Philadelphians and the nation about the important work being accomplished in our city each and every day,” said Mayor Nutter. “She will be greatly missed by our Administration, and I wish her success with her new opportunity telling the story of President Obama to Pennsylvanians.”

POSTED: Friday, June 29, 2012, 11:09 AM

How will Obamacare affect you? Not everyone is happy about the Supreme Court’s decision. Others say the decision was rare, fair and beautiful. The city’s uninsured will benefit.

City Council Ok’d a $3.6 billion budget that delayed Mayor Nutter’s property-tax overhaul for a year, increased taxes and doesn’t include any major cuts.

And in your weekly dose of Philly Clout…The return of Occupy Philly?

POSTED: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 12:36 PM

City Council just finalized a budget plan today that would delay Mayor Nutter’s property-tax overhaul for a year and raise $40 million for schools.

Council gave the final OK to provide the school district with $20 million through a small property-tax hike. Members voted 12-4 with Council members Jannie Blackwell, Bill Green, Dennis O’Brien and Brian O’Neill voting against it. Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez was absent. Another $20 million will come from a business tax increase known as the use-and-occupancy tax. The latter was approved last week despite strong opposition from the business community.

The money raised from the property-tax increase will go into an accountability grant and is contingent on the school district meeting some of the requirements of an accountability agreement crafted by Council.

POSTED: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 11:20 AM
Gov. Tom Corbett (Falk Photography LLC)

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling this morning, narrowly upholding the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obamacare) leaves us with a question: Is Gov. Corbett a winner or a loser here?  Why not both?

Corbett in March 2010 joined a group of state Attorneys General (mostly Republican) around the country in challenging the law in federal court.  He was running for governor then and issued a campaign fund-raising letter at the time, calling President Obama's effort a "health-care monstrosity" and noting that he was "leading the fight against Obamacare."

In September 2010, Corbett issued a campaign policy paper on health care in which he pledged to implement the legislation wisely, adding that it "offers great opportunity to extend coverage to thousands more people throughout Pennsylvania."

POSTED: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 8:35 AM

Jan Ransom looks at the city's overwhelmed public health centers. (http://bit.ly/LFmeTQ)

Health care reform could mean more money for the centers, which cost the city more than $30 million last year. (http://bit.ly/LFmeTQ)

Taxpayers helped underwrite more than a million dollars in donations to The Second Mile. Ugh. (http://bit.ly/LQpabc)

POSTED: Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 10:51 AM

Troubled Philadelphia Cyber School near its end?

And its round 2 of who wants to be the next schools’ superintendent.

A Northeast man poses as a chiropractor, admits $1.4 million in fraud and according to law enforcement officials he had a thing for attractive women.

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
 Follow Chris on Twitter

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.

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