Philadelphia’s schools superintendent says if the state legislature doesn’t authorize a cigarette tax by the middle of next month, he’ll begin sending out pink slips.
Mayor Michael Nutter tried to remain upbeat, saying the cigarette tax proposal is still alive, but added, “We are caught in a vortex of political hell with no particular path out.”
In a major breakthrough for city and school district officials, the state House Wednesday night passed a bill that would authorize a cigarette tax to help close the Philadelphia school district’s deficit.
House Republican leaders Tuesday night thwarted an 11th hour effort by Philadelphia Democrats to get committee approval for a Philadelphia school funding proposal.
In something of a surprise move, the state Senate Monday night approved an amendment that would enact the cigarette tax for Philadelphia schools. Mayor Michael Nutter celebrated the moment.
The mayor says Governor Corbett is using Philadelphia children as pawns to get other state issues approved, in order for the schools to get more funding.
Prospects for approval of a cigarette tax increase to fund Philadelphia schools before state lawmakers’ summer recess have hit rough waters.
The SRC won’t adopt a budget for next school year until it has secured adequate funding for Philadelphia schools on both the local and state level.
A Philadelphia state senator says a rescue package for Philadelphia schools is evolving and that the latest proposal no longer includes giving the city the power to increase cigarette taxes there.
The health department says smoking kills more people than murders, aids, car accidents, diabetes and illegal drugs combined.
Chris analyzes President Obama’s new initiative to combat climate change, the Flyers decision to buy out Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, and the a potential partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services and the NFL. He also talks to the CEO of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen, Tom McGrath from the Philly Post, and an energy industry executive to respond to the President’s proposals to curb carbon emissions.
“If and until those bills are introduced on the state level, and we see some sense that there is some action, there’s really not a lot that we can do locally,” City Council president Darrell Clarke says.