Broad Street Brief: City Moves to Extend PICA Oversight Until 2047

April 21, 2022

City Hall

City Moves to Extend PICA Oversight Until 2047

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.

Councilmember Gym Introduces Commuter Benefit Program Legislation

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 Says Masking No Longer Required, Balancing Local and Federal Requirements

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.

Krasner Says COVID-19 Still Harming Crime Prevention Efforts

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.

City Expands Catto Scholarship at CCP

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.

Upcoming Hearings

Philadelphia City Council holds several hearings throughout the legislative calendar. You can watch the hearings here.

  • On Thursday, April 21, at 1:00 p.m., the Committee on Appropriations will review appropriation transfers from the General Fund.
  • On Monday, April 25, at 10:00 a.m., the Committee on Rules will consider zoning and master plan changes for Manayunk and Drexel University.
  • On Thursday, April 29, at 9:00 a.m., the Joint Committees on Finance & Transportation and Public Utilities will discuss “sustainability and diversification” of PGW.
  • On Monday, May 2, at 1:00 p.m., the Committee on Labor and Civil Service will review the proposal for workforce development housing.

Budget Hearings:

  • On Tuesday, April 26, 10:00 a.m., the Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Defender’s Association will participate in budget hearings. The First Judicial District, the Law Department, and the Sheriff’s Office will testify in the afternoon.
  • On Wednesday, April 27 at 10:00 a.m., the Register of Wills and the City Controller’s Office will testify for budget hearings. The Department of Licenses and Inspections and the Water Department will testify in the afternoon.


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