Broad Street Brief: City Moves to Extend PICA Oversight Until 2047
April 21, 2022
April 21, 2022
Philadelphia elected officials are pushing to extend oversight of the city’s budget by the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) to at least 2047, a bipartisan effort joining politicians in the state capitol and city hall. After poor finances nearly led to a municipal bankruptcy in the 1990s, state officials created PICA — which has members appointed by the governor — to approve the city’s long-term financial plans. Current PICA oversight will expire next year, and some local unions oppose an extension, arguing it prevents them from getting more favorable contracts.
Today, Councilmember Gym introduced legislation that would create a commuter benefit program. The intent of this legislation is to make transit more accessible and affordable for Philadelphians. More information will be included in an upcoming policy alert on our website.
SEPTA officials say they believe they are on “solid legal ground” to say that masks are no longer required for passengers on their services after the federal mask mandate on transportation ended. SEPTA, which operates services between Philadelphia — which has a local mask mandate — and other counties — which do not, says they have authority to supersede the Philadelphia mandate because it is a state agency.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner says the prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are partially to blame for the continued presence of violent crime in the city, noting that school closures and health-related suspensions of some interventions diminished the effectiveness of programs that made a pre-pandemic impact.
500 more students will receive scholarships to attend the Community College of Philadelphia thanks to an expansion of the Catto Scholarship, which is city-funded. The scholarship has now been expanded to include students returning to CCP to complete their degrees or students transferring credits from other universities.
Philadelphia City Council holds several hearings throughout the legislative calendar. You can watch the hearings here.
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