City Council will resume meeting Thursday to appropriate $85M to address coronavirus outbreak

Pat Loeb
March 21, 2020 - 4:00 am

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia City Council will meet on Thursday despite the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The members have one pressing item to take care of. 

The last time Council met, the Kenney administration asked them to transfer $85 million to fight the coronavirus. Then City Hall shut down, and this week's meeting was cancelled. 

But Council President Darrell Clarke said they can't let that bill languish. 

“We've got to move the government. This is a crisis,” he said. 

So they will hold a hearing on the bill this Thursday, and then meet just long enough to give the bill its first reading. They also plan to meet the following Thursday to give it final approval. 

Clarke said at least nine members will be there for a quorum. 

“The public health director indicated that if we practice the appropriate social distancing in council chambers, and it's a rather large space, that we will be fine,” Clarke added.

Members of the public, though, will not be allowed in. 

Clarke said the hearing and meeting will be broadcast live to conform with Open Meetings Law, and anyone who wants to testify on the bill should email their testimony to Council's clerk and it will be put in the record at michael.decker@phila.gov

Clarke said Council is working on technology that will allow for more interaction with the public in case the situation goes longer.