PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney proposed a $5.2 billion budget for the next fiscal year. The budget increases spending but there are no tax hikes.
In the mayor’s 17-page budget address, he said he wants to reduce violence, clean the city up and provide free tuition for students at the Community College of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is coming off its deadliest year since 2007. In 2018, 356 people were murdered.
In his budget address, Kenney said city spending should focus on reducing the rate of violence and also helping communities dealing with its effects.
“We will expand the Community Crisis Intervention Program and fund a rapid-response team that can respond to communities experiencing deep trauma,” Kenney said.
Kenney also said he wants $5.7 million to expand the city’s Operation Pinpoint, which allows police to target crime hot spots.
“This initiative is starting to show positive results in the target areas, including a 17% year-to-date decrease in homicides and significant decreases in shooting victims in pinpoint areas,” he said.
.@JimFKenney is delivering his 5th budget to @PhiladelphiaGov City Council. The $5.2 billion proposal includes additional money for community college scholarships, violence reduction, and drug use prevention. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/bB6ir4UEBq
— Howard Monroe (@HMonroeNews) March 5, 2020
The mayor is also prioritizing education. He called for a $45 million increase in education spending. A lot of that funding will go to remediating asbestos and lead from the city’s schools.
He also wants to provide free tuition for students at the Community College of Philadelphia. He called for $63 million to set up scholarships for students.
“A post-secondary credential or college degree is essential to thrive in today’s rapidly changing economy,” Kenney said.
The mayor is also calling for $10 million to expand the city’s street sweeping operation. He also says he wants $67 million over the next five years to clean up the city.
While it will help with the look of the city, it comes with a price to drivers.
“Cars will be required to move during sweeping operations,” Kenney said.
City Council President Darrell Clarke issued a statement following the budget address.
“Overall, we believe this is a fairly good budget and five-year plan. Our key focus will be on efforts to lift 100,000 people out of poverty and end our rank as the poorest big city in the country,” Clarke said.
The mayor also called for $2.3 million to tackle the city’s opioid epidemic, which includes opening safe injection sites.