Mayor, Controller quarrel over soda tax report

Mayor, Controller quarrel over soda tax report

A report released Tuesday by the Philadelphia City Controller on soda tax revenue has re-opened debate over the spending and motivation of the controversial measure. When the report raised concerns on how the money is being held before allocation, the city’s administration defended their methodology and made some accusations of their own.

The Controller’s office reported the total revenue from the tax since its inception in 2017 at $137 million through September 2018, the start of fiscal year 2019 on programs, while over $101 million remained in the General Fund. 
Wednesday, December 12, 2018/Author: Marco Cerino
Affordable housing advocates plead with Pittsburgh City Council for restored funding

Affordable housing advocates plead with Pittsburgh City Council for restored funding

With signs that alleged empty promises, affordable housing advocates advanced on Pittsburgh City Council chambers to plead with council to restore their funding for the 2019 capital budget.

When Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto proposed his budget for the new year, many advocates were disturbed to learn that their financial support from the city would decrease by $5 million, leaving the authority with $1.1 million from the capital budget.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Categories: Pittsburgh
Pension reform commission prepares final report, will vote on approval next week

Pension reform commission prepares final report, will vote on approval next week

Ahead of a vote to accept or reject their final report next week, the state’s pension review commission, set up by the 2017 retirement restructuring, had its penultimate meeting Wednesday.

The commission is co-chaired by Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill), who said afterwards that the report “clearly states we can be better,” whether in simplifying the investment process, using standardized reporting tools for easier comparisons with other retirement systems or by increasing transparency.

“I think everyone is on board. There are no losers in this discussion,” Tobash said.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
With conviction, Brown resigns House seat "under protest"

With conviction, Brown resigns House seat "under protest"

Vanessa Lowery Brown has resigned from her House seat per a letter sent to Speaker Mike Turzai.

In the letter, Brown, who represented Philadelphia as a Democrat, wrote that the conviction caused her "incalculable harm and reputation damage" while violating her right to equal protection under the law.

"Emboldened by the civil rights giants who have gone before me and with the love and support of my family and friends, I live to fight another day against injustice and racism," Brown wrote.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Pittsburgh City Council introduces electronic and hazardous waste recycling legislation

Pittsburgh City Council introduces electronic and hazardous waste recycling legislation

Before Dan Gilman served as Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff, as a councilmember, he and Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith (District 2) noticed a problem.

Around the city, they saw televisions and computers dumped illegally. Knowing residents had few legal options for disposing electronic devices, they sought legislation that’d allow residents to recycle such items safely.

A year later, the legislation was introduced by Kail-Smith Tuesday, with the support of the mayor’s office.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Categories: Pittsburgh
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