COUNCIL PRESIDENT CLARKE STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE FY2021 BUDGET ADDRESS

In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, News by PHL Council

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Philadelphia, March 5, 2020 – Reacting to a $5.2 Billion FY2021 Budget delivered to City Council today by the Kenney administration, Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) said he welcomed a discussion about the Kenney administration’s budget initiatives, particularly in context with an ambitious Poverty Action Plan which Council unveiled earlier this week.

Mayor Jim Kenney delivered an address on his proposed Budget and Five-Year Plan this morning to City Council. Key highlights include a $45 million increase in funding for the School District of Philadelphia, a new investment of $63 million for free tuition for up to 6,500 students at the Community College, and no increase in city taxes.

“Overall, we believe this is a fairly good budget and Five-Year plan, assuming we don’t face any challenges beyond our control,” Council President Clarke said. “Our key focus will be on efforts that lift 100,000 people out of poverty and end our rank as the poorest big city in the country.”

Clarke noted that Council’s Special Committee on Poverty Reduction and Prevention unveiled its Poverty Action Plan on Tuesday, and that he anticipated many discussions during the upcoming budget hearings about how best to integrate the Kenney administration’s ideas on reducing poverty with the actionable strategies contained in Council’s plan.

Clarke discussed a key action item in Council’s Plan – Job Training Stipends to help adult students have the financial supports they need to train for jobs that can lift them out of poverty-wage jobs and into family-sustaining employment opportunities.

“If you want better outcomes, you have to invest, and we are prepared to invest in Community College to ensure that adult students can obtain meaningful employment opportunities,” Clarke said. “We’ll move forward to start these discussions during the budget process.” The hearings in Council on the Mayor’s budget proposal will begin later this month

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