(PHILADELPHIA) March 15, 2018 – Today, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced two bills. The first bill is aimed at generating additional revenue for the School District of Philadelphia. The revised bill, originally introduced by Councilwoman Reynolds Brown in 2012, would allow certain bars in Philadelphia to serve alcohol for two additional hours, until 4:00 am with the additional liquor tax revenue generated in those hours dedicated to the School District of Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has the authority to designate such operating hours; therefore, the bill is contingent on enabling legislation passing the State General Assembly in Harrisburg. In cooperation with Councilwoman Reynolds Brown, State Representative Jordan Harris plans to introduce a bill in the State House of Representatives which would grant Philadelphia such authority.
“In 2016, I introduced legislation that would give Pennsylvania municipalities the authority to issue extended use licenses to bars and restaurants to stay open until 4 a.m.,” Harris said. “Millennials are the economic engine that move our economy forward and we must find a way to keep them here. This bill would move us one step closer to achieving that goal, as well as providing the School District of Philadelphia with the much-needed funding it deserves. I look forward to working with Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown to see this through.”
Councilwoman Reynolds Brown’s bill authorizes City Council to establish “Extended Hours Zones” through subsequent legislation. Once established, businesses holding liquor licenses within “Extended Hours Zones” may apply for extended use permits to serve alcohol until 4:00am.
“Education is the single biggest indicator of success for children and youth and the greatest deterrent from crime. In this day and age of budget shortfalls and declining education funding, we must think of nontraditional creative solutions, think outside the box and exhaust unconventional avenues of revenue,” said Councilwoman Reynolds Brown.
Councilwoman Reynolds Brown also introduced legislation that will create an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”). EIS is a document prepared to describe the effects for proposed activities on the environment in the City of Philadelphia. An EIS shall be prepared for any pending ordinance upon the request of any member of the Philadelphia City Council. The EIS includes a brief discussion of the need for the proposed legislation; a range of alternatives including a cost analysis of the alternatives; life-cycle and energy usage study; an analysis of the impacts on air and water; and an examination of the social and economic impacts to local communities including economic impacts on businesses within the affected area.
“The purpose of this legislation is to ensure Councilmembers are given the adequate resources necessary to better understand the impacts that a proposed legislation may have on the quality of human life in the City of Philadelphia”, said Councilwoman Reynolds Brown, Chair of the Committee on the Environment. “With extreme proposed federal spending cuts to the EPA, it is imperative that the environmental community and all Philadelphians protect the right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, beautiful, and esthetic values of our environment”.
Councilwoman Reynolds Brown also introduced two resolutions: Authorizing the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development to hold hearings to examine the current missions of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau and VISIT Philadelphia as we explore the feasibility of a merger of the two organizations and urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to adopt legislation to create a statewide “Keystone Scholars” higher education savings program.