Friday, July 31, 2015

What will Nutter do with sick leave and DROP bills?

Mayor Nutter has two bills on his desk that he opposes - the paid sick leave legislation and Council's reformation of the DROP pension program.

What will Nutter do with sick leave and DROP bills?

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Mayor Nutter has two bills on his desk that he opposes - the paid sick leave legislation and Council's reformation of the DROP pension program.

So, what does he do with them? Veto them? Sign them? Or let them become law without his signature?

Both bills were passed last week (the paid sick leave by a 9-8 vote) during an intense all-day Council meeting that was mostly consumed with resolving the school budget crisis. Paid sick leave and DROP have been two of the most debated and argued items in Council this year. On any other day, their passage would have been big news.

The administration opposed the paid sick leave bill, which would mandate certain businesses to allow employees to accumulate paid sick days, saying it was a potential job-killer in the aftermath of a recession.

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Between a rock and a hard place on DROP

On DROP, he told Council members to kill the controversial program, which costs the city millions. Council decided to reform it instead, attempting to make the program "cost neutral." Council ignored the mayor's bill to end the program. Nutter said after that "the only DROP bill I plan to put my signature on is the one I sent up."

He could allow the DROP bill to become law without his endorsement, since a veto would seem a largley symbolic gesture. Council's DROP bill had 11 sponsors and passed 14-3, so the members could muster the 12 votes needed to override him with ease.

Paid sick leave is another matter. The bill barely passed amidst the wrangling over various tax proposals to fund the school system. The sponsors, Councilmen William K. Greenlee and Darrell L. Clarke, would have to find three more votes to overturn a veto.

If Nutter were to veto either bill at Thursday's Council meeting, the members would have two meetings to respond with a vote to override him. But Thursday's meeting is the last until the summer recess, and the next meeting isn't until September.

That would give Greenlee and Clarke all summer to drum up three more votes.

Greenlee said today that he hoped the mayor would give the bill "some consideration," but "if he does veto it, we got time to work on it."

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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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