The Pennsylvania Convention Center | Photo by Jeff Fusco
1. Philadelphia’s hotels were more booked last month than during any other June since 1993.
The gist: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Center City’s hotel occupancy rates “reached 89.4 percent in June, the highest June rate since 1993″ and that hotels were “booked nearly to full capacity on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, at 97.9 percent and 96.4 percent, respectively.” The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau attributes the hotel industry’s success partly to three big conventions that took place here last month.
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Photo by Jeff Fusco
1. An arbitrator has decided that Philadelphia must have at least one full-time counselor per school.
The gist: That’s because the school district’s contract with the teachers union stipulates that all schools must have one. NewsWorks reports that arbitrator Ralph Colflesh also ruled in the union’s favor on other matter:
An independent arbitrator has ruled against the Philadelphia School District for not taking seniority into account when rehiring laid-off school counselors in 2013.
Facing a large budget shortfall in the summer of 2013, the school district furloughed all guidance counselors.
As school began, and additional funding came through, many were hired back, but without regard for seniority.
Following a union complaint, arbitrator Ralph Colflesh has now ruled against that action — saying that the district must provide back pay for those more senior counselors bypassed by the district.
The district, however, says it is going to appeal the decision.
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Screenshot via 6ABC
1. Mayor Michael Nutter performed “Rapper’s Delight” with The Roots at the Philly 4th of July Jam this weekend.
The gist: You remember when Mayor Nutter did it at his 2008 inaugural ball. And then at his 2012 inaugural gala, too. Well, he performed “Rapper’s Delight” again this weekend, and it was his best delivery yet. I mean, he was backed up by The Roots and he dropped the mic at the end of the rendition, for Christ’s sake. Check it out on 6ABC. Something tells us this is his favorite karaoke song, too. Read more »
Representatives of Gov. Tom Wolf and state legislative leaders are expected to resume negotiations today over the state budget — but analysts say the impasse could last awhile, and that services helping the state’s poor and needy could be among the first to feel the pain of the standoff. Read more »
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke
1. The police department is going to start releasing the names of officers who fire at civilians.
The gist: City Paper reports that Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced in a memo yesterday that “the department will immediately begin disclosing the names of officers who discharge their firearms in Officer-Involved Shootings ‘within seventy-two (72) hours of the incident.'” According to the memo, this was one of the recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Justice in its scathing report on police shootings in Philadelphia. Also, the department will examine each case to ensure that “no threats are made toward the officer or members of their family prior to the release of this information.” Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the GOP-led legislature’s state budget Tuesday night, in part, he said, because it would set aside far less education funding than he believes is fair.
How much less?
Earlier this year, the Philadelphia School District asked state lawmakers for an extra $206 million. The Republican bill would have provided only an additional $21.8 million to the school district, according to data from Senate GOP spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher. That’s about 11 percent of the surplus funding that district officials said they need. Read more »
Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday night vetoed the GOP-held legislature’s budget bill — the first time a Pennsylvania governor had outright rejected a budget in more than 40 years, setting the stage for a state government slowdown. Read more »
1. Philly’s smoking rate has fallen to a record low.
The gist: CBS3 reports that “the percentage of adult Philadelphians who smoke has dropped from 27.3 percent in 2008 to 22.4 percent in 2014-15, according to data from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey.” Even more impressive: A drop took place among all ethnicities and socioeconomic groups in the city, and it happened after smoking rates went up in 2000 and 2008. Also, the recent smoking rate doesn’t factor in the full impact of Philly’s new cigarette tax, which has likely caused smoking to become even less common. Read more »
Gov. Wolf, center, during happier times at the Legislature.
Looks like Harrisburg may blow past Tuesday’s June 30 deadline for a state budget.
The GOP-controlled legislature worked through the weekend with the House passing its own $30.1 budget on Saturday and a Senate committee giving its approval Sunday night. But Gov. Wolf sent signals he would veto the bill, which includes none of his ideas for education funding or taxing the Marcellus shale, two of his big priorities. Read more »