Curfew bill passes, paid sick-leave moves forward

Updated: To provide accurate vote on curfew bill

City Council passed a stricter curfew bill today that would impose a $75 fine for a violation.

The bill, introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown on behalf of the Nutter administration passed 15-1 with Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell voting against it. Councilwoman Joan Krawjewski was absent and did not cast a vote.

“It’s a bad bill,” Blackwell said. “It won’t work.”

Nearly two dozen people testified against the bill with concerns that it was a violation of civil rights and would lead to overly aggressive policing.

“I learned early on if I had a problem with one student, I didn’t punish the whole class,” said retired school teacher Ken Devstine. “This curfew is a collective punishment for all of the youth of Philadelphia.”

The bill follows a temporary curfew implemented to address acts of violence committed by groups of young people.

“This is not a bill to criminalize,” said Reynolds Brown.  

Parents would have 30 days instead of 10 to pay the $75 fine after receiving a notice that their child violated curfew. The maximum penalty would be $500. The curfew would expire in December 2013 so that the administration could measure its effectiveness.

The curfew would be 8 p.m. for children 13 and younger, 9 p.m. for those ages 14 and 15, and 10 p.m. for those 16 and 17. The curfew lasts until 6 a.m. for all public places unless the child is accompanied by a parent, running an errand or working. During the summer the curfew would be an hour later. Additionally, if parents fail to retrieve their children within a reasonable time, police would contact the Department of Human Services to initiate an investigation.

In other news: A bill that would require the city and employers with city contracts, funding or leases to provide earned paid sick days will become law without Mayor Nutter’s signature.

In a letter to Council, Nutter said he appreciated the bill introduced by Councilman Wilson Goode Jr., but he is “concerned that the bill will potentially affect the perception of the city’s appreciation of the importance of business growth and increased employment to our success as a city.”

The bill passed 15-2 with Councilmen Jack Kelly and Brian O'Neill voting against it on Oct. 13.

“As I discussed with the Mayor I believe we should continue to set a standard,” Goode said. “We first set a standard in terms of wages, we then set a standard in terms of health benefits and I think this is an appropriate amendment to carry that work forward.”