Philadelphia City Council gives good reception to Mayor Kenney’s budget proposal

Pat Loeb
March 05, 2020 - 5:16 pm
Mayor Jim Kenney at a budget address at City Council.

Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Mayor Jim Kenney's $5.2 billion budget proposal owes a lot to Philadelphia's growing economy. The mayor was able to propose $118 million in new programs without a tax increase, and City Council gave the proposal good marks. 

The mayor managed to propose a lot of new spending for a budget with no tax increase: a city-funded scholarship and extra funding for Community College of Philadelphia, an anti-eviction program, street sweeping and six-day-a-week library service. 

Council President Darrell Clarke says he's happy to see the budget's in line with Council's priority of poverty reduction.

"Throughout the speech, it referenced certain measures and proposals that will address some of the issues as it relates to our poverty plan, so I'm obviously very excited about that, look forward to working on the details of that," Clarke said.

The biggest spending increase was $45 million more for the school district. The budget also includes a $20 million reserve for new collective bargaining agreements with city unions, but the mayor promised to also work for reforms in the police union contract 

"We'll work hard with the FOP to protect the rights of our officers while also strengthening Commissioner (Danielle) Outlaw's ability to hold bad cops accountable," Kenney said.

The address followed a council meeting that was packed with opponents and advocates of safe injection sites, and one opponent was removed after interrupting the mayor when he addressed the issue.

"We will take a greater role in ensuring community conversations happen this year as they did extensively in 2018," Kenney said.

The budget contains no funding for the sites but does include an additional $3 million to fight the opioid epidemic.