Mayor Nutter said today that if the city does not get requested budget relief from state lawmakers, the city will slash basically all funding for the First Judicial District, District Attorney's Office and Public Defender.
Nutter said funding for all three agencies would be eliminated for the rest of the current fiscal year if Plan C went into effect. Nutter did not go into details on how the cuts would take effect, instead stressing that they could be avoided if the state Sentate approves legislation that allows the city to temporarily raise the sales tax and change payments into the pension fund.
"We need action, we need action now, without delay so we do not have to implement Plan C," said Nutter, who was joined by District Attorney Lynne Abraham, President Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe and Chief Defender Ellen Greenlee.
Without the legislation, the city will have to soon enact a “doomsday budget,” which cuts $700 million from the city’s five year financial plan. Nearly 3,000 city workers would lose their jobs, including police officers and firefighters. All libraries and recreation centers would close. Trash collection would go to every other week.
Earlier today at a state Senate finance committe hearing, Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman noted that House Bill 1828, which deals with the city requests, wasn't passed in the state House of Representatives until August. He complained that the late timing, coupled with press conferences calling for Senate action, was "unfair."
Asked if he feared backlash in Harrisburg over events like today's press conference, Nutter said no, noting that he felt an obligation to keep citizens informed. "We're not trying to create any consternation in Harrisburg," he said.