School District Bailout Debate Rages On
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The debate continues on at Philadelphia City Hall over how to come up with the promised $50 million dollars for part of the school district bailout and Mayor Nutter’s plan is stuck in legislative limbo.
Mayor Nutter wants Council to consider the Governor’s plan to use sales tax proceeds for the school district, but Nutter can’t find a single city council member who is willing to formally introduce the legislation.
Council President Clarke was vague as to whether he would introduce it, saying only there’s plenty of time to hash it out.
Clarke says, “I’ve believe we’re all committed to an extension of the sales tax. This whole about the split or the process as it relates to the disposition of that funding will be discussed over the next several months.”
Clarke wants half the sales tax proceeds earmarked for the struggling pension fund of city workers, but his plan would require enabling legislation from Harrisburg, further complicating the debate.
When asked if he will lobby the legislature for his approach, Clarke said that task falls to state legislators from this area.
“I know how to stay in my lane. I have minimal influence at best at the state level with respects to the General Assembly. So I will follow the lead of the members of the Philly delegation in the Senate and the House with respects to how we handle that particular provision.”
Both Clarke and Nutter have promised School Superintendent William Hite that the $50 million dollar will come, but it remains very unclear how the check will be cut.