On Thursday, City Council introduced a resolution to form a special committee that would create and recommend strategies to ensure equity and inclusion in city infrastructure projects. The American Jobs Plan proposed by President Biden would infuse billions of dollars into local infrastructure and the committee would meet to monitor the city’s progress on infrastructure initiatives and hold public hearings to solicit public input. This resolution will be up for a vote today, and Council President Clarke will begin to appoint members to this committee in the coming months.
Last week, City Council passed legislation championed by Councilmember Green that would prohibit employers from requiring prospective employees to be tested for the presence of marijuana. There are a number of exceptions to this legislation, such as employees who need a commercial driver’s license. If signed by Mayor Kenney, this ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2022.
Housing Transitions to Solar
Last week, the Philadelphia Energy Authority announced a program that would provide rooftop solar installations for low and moderate income homeowners. The Solar Savings Grant Program has started installations for 50 households, and Councilmember Gilmore Richardson introduced a resolution on Thursday honoring the program.
Calling for the Prohibition on Transporting Liquefied Natural Gas
Last Thursday, Councilmember Brooks introduced a resolution calling for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to prevent liquefied natural gas from being transported through Philadelphia. It also called for the Federal Energy Regulation Commission or the Army Corps of Engineers to perform an environmental impact statement regarding a proposed docking facility in Gibbstown, N.J. Lastly, an official copy of this resolution would be filed with the Council on Environmental Quality under the Biden administration. This resolution is up for a final vote today.
Several committee hearings will take place over the next few weeks as City Council anticipates the beginning of budget hearings in less than two weeks.
Land Value Taxation
Tomorrow, Councilmember Green will host a hearing on his resolution that would discuss land-value taxation and its potential implications for Philadelphia. There have been conversations about the need to further examine Philadelphia’s current tax structure and determine if it needs an overhaul. Supporters of land-value taxation believe it is a more equitable way to tax real estate. A change in the tax structure would have significant repercussions across the city — especially for the real estate industry. You can stream the hearing live here.
Restarting the Economy
Councilmember Oh is holding a hearing on Friday, May 7 to discuss plans, procedures, and best practices for revitalizing the economy as Philadelphia emerges from the pandemic. The Committee on Global Opportunities and Creative/Innovative Economy is chaired by Councilmember Oh. You can stream the hearing live here.