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Archive: June, 2009

POSTED: Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 9:46 AM

Today, contracts for more than 20,000 unionized city workers expire. "It's Our Money" took a look at the current salaries and benefits, as well as the proposals offered by the city during negotiations. You can read the whole thing by clicking on the link below.

Read the new op-ed and check out the accompanying chart by clicking here.

Ben Waxman @ 9:46 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, June 29, 2009, 10:55 AM

The Philadelphia Research Institute, a project of the Pew Charitable Trust, has released a new report on benefits for municipal employees. The main point: costs are skyrocketing as the city's ability to pay is falling dramatically.

You can read the whole thing by clicking here.

Ben Waxman @ 10:55 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, June 29, 2009, 10:04 AM

Link: Playing budget games with gambling [Daily News]

POKER, BLACKJACK, craps, roulette and baccarat are among the table games included in a new bill that the Pennsylvania Legislature may consider soon to expand gambling across the state.

The list of games doesn't include the kind of three-card monte that lawmakers are now playing as they talk about table games as a viable solution to the $3 billion state budget crisis.

Ben Waxman @ 10:04 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, June 26, 2009, 11:38 AM
Mayor Nutter with Clay Armbrister, chief of staff
Annual cost-of-living-adjustments, or COLAs, are due to the mayor, City Council, and row officers on June 30 under the 2003 law that set current salaries.

Mayor Nutter will give back his 5.13 percent increase, as will 19 cabinet members and commissioners who are scheduled for the increase, a spokesman said yesterday.

Nutter slashed his $186,044 salary 10 percent in November in announcing budget cuts to deal with the worsening financial crisis. The COLA amount is $9,544, for a total giveback of about $28,000. Nutter is also taking a 2 percent cut in the form of a one-week furlough this year - five unpaid vacation days that he'll most likely work through.

Ben Waxman @ 11:38 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, June 25, 2009, 9:49 AM

Today's editorial in the Daily News mentions a study of casino-related campaign contributions  by Pennslyvania Common Cause. You can read the entire thing bt clicking here.

Ben Waxman @ 9:49 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, June 24, 2009, 11:40 AM
Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato

"There are over 3,100 pension funds in Pennsylvania and about 60 percent of them have 10 people or less. That has to change. What we should be talking about is: Should there be a statewide municipal pension fund? And are we willing to give up some of our control?" he said.

When combined, all of the municipal pension funds account for $4.7 billion of unfunded pension liability, said Kevin Evanto, Mr. Onorato's spokesman. He added that the state Legislature would have to create a mechanism to allow for the merger of the municipal pension systems.

Ben Waxman @ 11:40 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, June 24, 2009, 11:06 AM
Mayors from Lancaster, York, Reading, Easton and Bethlehem

Mayors of five Pennsylvania cities — Lancaster, York, Reading, Easton and Bethlehem — announced Tuesday they've formed a coalition to meet the challenge of paying for municipal government.

The cities had been the subject of a study earlier this year by the Pennsylvania Economy League. The report said what many in Lancaster have known for some time: The cost of firefighters, police and public works is going up, but cities' ability to raise revenue isn't.

Ben Waxman @ 11:06 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 10:13 AM

Link: We want the bad news, too [Daily News]

YESTERDAY, Mayor Nutter delivered his proposed budget to the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), a state agency charged with overseeing city finances.

There's nothing unusual in this: By law, the mayor is required to submit his budget and five-year plan to PICA, and PICA must approve it.

Ben Waxman @ 10:13 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog
Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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