Mayor Nutter is now leading a City Hall rally called to talk about looming layoffs and service cuts if state lawmakers don't approve the city's budget requests. Nutter took the stage in the City Hall courtyard with Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, Fraternal Order of Police president John McNesby and other officials.
The crowd chanted "no budget cuts," when Nutter came to the podium. "I agree with you," the mayor replied.
Nutter wants state lawmakers to approve a temporary 1-cent increase to the city sales tax and changes to how the city pays into the pension fund. Without those approvals, the city will have a $700 million hole to fill over the next five years.
"It's a relatively straightforward request," Nutter told a crowd of hundreds, mostly social service advocates. "We're not asking the Commonwealth, we're not asking the General Assembly, we're not asking the governor for a dime."
Harrisburg legislators, who are locked in a month-long state budget impasse, have been slow to move on the requests. After weeks of quietly lobbying in Harrisburg, Nutter is going public today with his demands.
"We are hopeful for timely action, but as much hope and faith that we have, we cannot run a government solely on hope," Nutter said. "We need money."
Click here for a story in today's Daily News about what might happen with the city's budget if the General Assembly doesn't approve the city's requests.