PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia City Council president Anna Verna denies any foot-dragging, even though she has yet to schedule a hearing on eliminating the controversial city pension perk known as “DROP.”

Verna has said for months that no hearing on eliminating DROP — the Deferred Retirement Option Plan — could be held until she received Council’s own independent study of the issue.  But that report was delivered more than two months ago, and still no hearing on the thorny topic has been set.

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Verna says they’ve been busy with other things:

“I don’t mean to be sarcastic about that, but I’m getting calluses from sitting so long at these budget hearings.  And I think that’s very important — we have to have this budget passed by the end of May.”

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Verna denied that the delay is simply to put off the DROP debate until after the May 17th primary election.
Mayor Nutter wants the program eliminated, saying the city can no longer afford it.

Council’s study put the price of the program at about $10 million a year, and some members want to simply revise the program to make it cost neutral, rather than drop DROP outright.

Reported by KYW City Hall Bureau chief Mike Dunn

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