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NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter couldn't have put the need for school funding in starker terms. In his budget address Thursday, he called public education the "paramount issue" facing City Council. Later he described getting more money for the schools as "a fight for the future of this city. " But his own spending plan offered no new revenue streams for schools, relying instead on two proposed taxes with uncertain fates to come up with the $195 million the School District has asked for. Education advocates were quick to say the city had "shortchanged" children again, and Nutter acknowledged that his initial budget was a bit light.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Calling library closings the "absolute worst decision" in his 20 years in elected office, Mayor Nutter took time in his budget address Thursday to apologize for the cuts he made in 2008. City Council "was right on this issue . . . and I've been determined to correct my mistake ever since," Nutter said after proposing a $2.5 million increase for the Free Library. The new funding would let the library system hire 43 people and keep all neighborhood libraries open six days a week. Since the 2008 budget cuts, most of the branch libraries have been open only five days.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Timing their protest to Mayor Nutter's annual budget address, scores of unionized municipal workers marched outside City Hall today to decry a lack of a labor contract and the proposed sale of PGW. Jeering union protesters last year prevent Nutter from addressing Council, prompting him to deliver the budget message later in the day from a heavily guarded the Mayor Reception Room. The protesters dispersed about 10:30 a.m. and some entered City Hall, where a number were admitted to the Council chambers gallery for Nutter's speech without their signs and a with a warning against outbursts.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
With 18 months to go before Philadelphia hosts the Vatican's World Meeting of Families, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is expected to announce Friday that he, Mayor Nutter, and Gov. Corbett will soon meet with Pope Francis to discuss what promises to be an enormous international gathering. Chaput is expected to say at a morning news conference that their audience with the pontiff will take place March 26 at the Vatican. Corbett and Nutter, honorary co-chairs of the event, are expected to join him for the announcement, the archdiocese said.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Mayor Nutter plans to present to City Council on Thursday a modest budget without bold spending ideas, but one that nonetheless sets the stage for coming debates over selling the Philadelphia Gas Works and funding the School District. On Wednesday, School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. sent a letter to Nutter requesting $75 million next year to boost a district still running deficits despite making painful cuts. That would be on top of the $120 million the district hopes to receive from the city's extra 1 percent sales tax. Nutter's budget, however, does not include more money for the schools, according to sources briefed on his spending plan, and how much money the district can expect from the sales tax remains in doubt.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
THE BUDGET PROPOSAL Mayor Nutter will deliver tomorrow will include moderate funding boosts for selected departments but no major tax initiatives or deep cuts, according to sources in the administration, City Council and other City Hall operatives. A source said the proposal will be Nutter's "legacy budget" - how he wants to be remembered - as next year's budget season will come in the thick of the race to choose his successor and likely receive less attention. Parks & Recreation will get money to expand library service, Licenses and Inspections will get a boost to fund demolition regulations created after June's deadly building collapse, and the newly established land bank and related agencies will see increases to launch the initiative, sources said.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Bob Warner and Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
PHILADELPHIA Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke says he is taking steps to avoid the raucous union demonstration that prevented Mayor Nutter from delivering his budget speech in Council chambers last year. And one labor leader says Clarke's wishes matter to union members. Nutter is scheduled to revisit Council chambers Thursday morning to present his budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, and he doesn't appear to be a lot more popular with the city's unions than he was a year ago. A tentative contract settlement with AFSCME District Council 47, representing 3,600 social and health care workers, librarians, computer technicians and other city employees, faces a ratification vote Wednesday night.
NEWS
March 5, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter remembers the dark days of the Philadelphia Gas Works, when the city lent the utility $45 million and PGW suspended its $18 million annual city franchise fee for seven years to stay afloat. So it was with some pride that Nutter announced Monday that a Connecticut energy company, UIL Holdings Corp., had agreed to buy PGW for $1.86 billion. The sale price is at the upper end of the range that the city's financial adviser estimated the utility would fetch. "PGW literally could have taken the city down," Nutter said in an interview.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The city's yearlong quest to find a buyer for the Philadelphia Gas Works is passing into a new, frenetic phase, and a Connecticut utility that entered the natural-gas business only three years ago is said to be Mayor Nutter's choice to take over PGW. UIL Holdings Corp. of New Haven, parent company of Connecticut electric utility United Illuminating Co. and three New England gas utilities, has been selected by Nutter, according to a published report. Sources said a deal is incomplete, and no terms were disclosed.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Mayor Nutter says he wants to bring the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Philadelphia. But does he mean it? Some folks wonder. After all, he declined to pursue his party's 2012 convention, and he didn't attend a meeting called last summer by Rep. Robert Brady, the city Democratic Party's chairman, to rally regional politicos for 2016. So this week, Brady said, he got worried when Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the party's national chairwoman, told him she had yet to hear back from Nutter.
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