As we head into the weekend, many workers across Philadelphia are cheering for another reason. City Council has passed a "Fair Workweek" law which will lead to more predictable schedules for thousands of employees across the city. But it doesn't come without critics. Meanwhile, the Council's president is proposing legislation that will take aim at loopholes in the system that allowed developers to rack up big profits on city-owned land. Money is also flowing into 30th Street. A federal grant will send millions of dollars toward the effort to revitalize SEPTA's 30th Street subway stop.

With a 14-3 vote, City Council has made Philly the latest city to pass a "Fair Workweek" law. It will regulate how retail, fast-food, and hospitality companies assign their workers to shifts, making it easier for employees to budget and plan their lives. But critics argue it will hurt business growth.

Workers launched a campaign nearly a year ago to fight for more predictable schedules for service industry jobs. Seattle stands as the leader in worker protection laws. Philly's law might be stronger than other cities' in some ways, experts say. But it's weaker in others.

According to Councilwoman Helen Gym, the law will impact 130,000 workers. City Council also voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage for city workers and those employed by city contractors.

City Council President Darrell Clarke is proposing legislation to close loopholes in the city's land sale process that allowed developers to make money off the shortcomings in the system.

In November, reporters Mark Fazlollah and William Bender reported Councilman Kenyatta Johnson helped a childhood friend purchase three valuable city-owned lots and flip them for a profit.

Johnson says he supports Clarke's legislation which would call for city approval before a purchaser could resell property acquired from the city.

A lot is changing at 30th Street Station and the area that surrounds it. SEPTA's 30th Street subway stop is set for an upgrade thanks to a $15 million federal grant.

The money — from the Department of Transportation — will bolster millions in funding already put forth by SEPTA and the Brandywine Realty Trust. The plan is for a $37 million upgrade of the site by 2020.   

It's all part of an even bigger effort to remake 30th Street Station, including reopening a tunnel that connects subway and trolley lines to the Amtrak station.

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What a gorgeous shot of history. Thanks for sharing, @thrudseyes.

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December 7, 2018
Signe Wilkinson
December 7, 2018
"It's bright. It's vibrant. It's the life of the party. And in all honesty, after the year we've had — all of the unnecessary shootings, the natural disasters, and political animosity — I would have preferred a no-nonsense navy or a cloudy gray." — Columnist Elizabeth Wellington on the selection of Living Coral as the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year.
  • America's national parks, including Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park, are crumbling and need Congress to step up, writes the Inquirer Editorial Board.
  • The Pa. Supreme Court's decision to redact the names of Catholic clergy in the grand jury report on sexual abuse in the church is a win for due process, writes columnist Christine Flowers.

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A jacket sits on a Nutcracker statute at the Academy of Music.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
A jacket sits on a Nutcracker statute at the Academy of Music.

Your Daily Dose of | Aroma

Sights and sounds won't be the only things you're hit with during the Pennsylvania Ballet's The Nutcracker. You'll also have a chance to experience the show's distinct scent.