Monday, August 3, 2015

Contentious hearings scheduled for after the election

The introduction of long-awaited legislation and public hearings on the controversial DROP retirement program have been put on Council's calendar -- at dates a safe remove from the May 17 primary.

Contentious hearings scheduled for after the election

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The introduction of long-awaited legislation and public hearings on the controversial DROP retirement program have been put on Council's calendar -- at dates a safe remove from the May 17 primary.

Mayor Nutter has advocated for DROP to be abolished. While the program has been unpopular with voters and bashing it makes for good electoral politics, powerful city worker unions favor the program and would be unlikely to endorse a candidate who agrees with the mayor.

Council did not say what the DROP legislation would entail. What do you, loyal Heard in the Hall readers, think Council will do? Kill it? Amend it? Something else? Post your opinions in the comment section.

Council also announced that another thorny hearing, previously scheduled for the week before the primary, won't happen until after the election. That would be the budget hearing for the School District, which has a huge deficit to close. It's anyone's guess at this point what will happen at that hearing, now scheduled for May 24, but it's sure to be full of fireworks. Public comment will follow the next day.

Council President Anna C. Verna's office said the DROP legislation would be introduced on May 26, with a public hearing during the week of June 6, which could make DROP one of the last things council takes up before the summer recess.

In a statement, Verna tied the two matters together, saying the postponement of the schools hearing came at the School District's request but gave council "a window of opportunity to deal with the DROP."

"It has always been Council's intention to deal with this issue before Council recesses," she said.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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