Philadelphia, March 20, 2020 – City Council’s Appropriations Committee will conduct a hearing next Thursday, March 26, on a request from the Kenney administration for an emergency budget transfer of $85 Million to help the city mitigate and fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Utilizing a mixture of traditional Council procedure, technology, and all while practicing social distancing to ensure public safety, Council’s Appropriations Committee, chaired by Councilmember Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez (7th District), will hold a hearing on the emergency appropriations request (Bill No. 200258) scheduled at 9:00 a.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.
Assuming the Appropriations Committee reports the emergency budget transfer ordinance of $85 million out of committee with a favorable recommendation, Council intends to give first reading to this transfer ordinance at its Stated Meeting later that day, starting at 10:00 a.m.
In a memorandum to Council members, Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) explained the further legislative steps that will take place next Thursday. Aside from the normal procedural actions taken in Council, Council will dispense with all other business. There will be no introduction of bills or resolutions, and no consideration of the final passage or second-reading and final passage calendars. Dispensing with non-critical orders of business will minimize the amount of time required for the Council hearing and meeting, and as a result serve to protect the health and safety of Councilmembers and staff who will be present.
Since City Hall is currently closed by order of Mayor Kenney and City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, members of the public interested in commenting on the emergency budget transfer should submit their comments in writing via email to Council’s Chief Clerk, at Michael.Decker@phila.gov. Those comments will be distributed to all committee members prior to the hearing on March 26.
Prior to scheduling the hearing, Council President Clarke spoke with Public Health Commissioner Dr. Farley, who indicated the session would be permissible so long as any Council member or staff in the chamber are practicing social distancing and maintaining a safe distance apart from one another.
As with all Council hearings and meetings, the sessions will be broadcast live on the city’s public access channels Xfinity 64 and Verizon 40, as well as livestreamed at www.phlcouncil.com/watch
Council staff are continuing to explore technologies that may allow Councilmembers to participate remotely in future hearings and meetings during the course of this ongoing emergency. Any future procedural and schedule changes will be announced by the Council President’s office.
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