Mayor Michael Nutter just held a press conference where he praised the State Senate for passing a bill to provide fiscal relief to the city. He also called on the State House to reconvene and act swiftly on the amended legislation.
“We at the city are pleased and proud of the overwhelming support that House Bill 1848 just received,” said Nutter. “This measure is critically important to the financial and operational future to the City of Philadelphia. I've very appreciative of the Senate's action this afternoon.”
Nutter also went out of his way to praise the Republican leadership. “There was a schedule put out by Sen. Pileggi a couple of weeks ago,” said Nutter. “That schedule was maintained to the day.” He also dubbed the senators from the Philadelphia delegation “the new magnificent seven” for their role in pushing the bill forward.
Since the bill was amended significantly, it will now have to go back to the State House before being signed by the governor. Nutter called on the House to take action and brushed aside concerns about the pension amendments.
“We are close but we are not yet finished,” said Nutter. “The amendments are part of the bill and we wanted the bill and they come with the bill. So that is the way it goes.”
The legislation passed by the State Senate will allow Philadelphia to increase the sales tax from 7 to 8 percent and delay contributions to the city pension fund. The original bill was amended to require a strict repayment schedule for pension fund with tough penalties, freeze benefits for current workers, and lower benefits for future employees.