Pension reform and liquor privatization are longshots, but as lawmakers return to the state capitol today, one thing that may get done is a cigarette tax in Philadelphia to generate badly needed cash for city schools.
Philadelphia public schools opened today amid huge budget deficits and reduced staffing
The School Reform Commission and Superintendent William Hite are scheduled to make an announcement Friday about the future of the cash-strapped school district.
State house majority leader Mike Turzai met with Superintendent Willliam Hite for about an hour at school headquarters. Turzai pledged he’d work to pass the cigarette tax.
Governor Corbett on Monday failed to convince leaders in the House to meet this month and to vote on a two-dollar-a-pack tax on cigarettes.
Dom Giordano spoke with Nathan Benefield from the Commonwealth Foundation about the organization’s opposition to a cigarette tax in Philadelphia to help fund city schools.
Philadelphia school leaders are threatening layoffs and cutbacks unless they can balance their budget by August 15th with a hefty increase in the city’s cigarette tax.
Republican leadership say they canceled the session because the bill became too complicated, weighed down with non-school related amendments.
Chris discusses the aftermath of baseball’s trading deadline, which saw the Phillies make no moves, Senator Mark Udall of Colorado calling for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan and State Senator Daylin Leach’s trip to Colorado to assess their legalization of marijuana. He talks to Steve Cordasco on Finance Friday at 7:00 and CBS 3’s Beasley Reece at 8:00.
Superintendent Dr. William Hite has said 1,300 layoff notices would go out August 15 without money from the cigarette tax. He says a cash advance from the state doesn’t solve the district’s $81 million deficit.
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.