It was a heavy week for politics, with Governor Tom Wolf and Mayor Michael Nutter proposing budgets and hoping they’ll pass — by the Republicans for Wolf and City Council for Nutter. Meanwhile, the weather folks finally got it right. Catch up on those stories and more with the #BillyPennPlaylist, our pairing of the week’s top events to music (scroll to the bottom for Spotify).
“Batter Up,” Nelly
Wolf isn’t aiming for singles with his first budget; he’s aiming for home runs. Pennsylvania’s new governor wants higher sales and income taxes and lower property and corporate taxes, as well as tuition freezes at state universities. By the time July rolls around and Republicans try to modify it, it will probably look significantly different, though.
“Gold Guns Girls,” Metric
Wolf practically wants to tax everything in the world. Among the many items that would now fall under PA sales tax if Wolf’s budget passes: gum, horses, newspapers, airline catering and cable TV.
“Lady Picture Show,” Stone Temple Pilots
Famous Bucks County artist Nelson Shanks told Stephanie Farr of the Daily News this week that he included a shadow of a dress in his portrait of Bill Clinton to represent the Monica Lewinsky scandal hanging over him.
“I Need a Dollar,” Aloe Blacc
Proponents for raising the $7.25 minimum wage had a good week. City Council had a hearing regarding raising Philly’s minimum to $15 (it would take a legal battle to get it done, though), and Wolf wants to raise the wage statewide to $10.10.
“Rockin’ The Suburbs,” Ben Folds
The suburbs are still winning. As we showed in “The Great Philly Migration” this week, the net flow of people moving between Philadelphia and the ‘burbs greatly favors the ‘burbs.
“Greatest Love of All,” Whitney Houston
Nutter also got to reveal his budget this week. And like Wolf he was all about taxes. He’d like to raise property taxes by 9.3 percent (from 1.34 percent to 1.465 percent of assessed home value). Why? He says he wants more money to go to schools because he believes children are our city’s future.
“When I Grow Up,” Garbage
Speaking of children, maybe they’ll get to live in a world where the state doesn’t own the liquor system and you can buy beer and liquor in the same store. Sure doesn’t seem likely for the rest of us. With Wolf calling for modernization in his budget, the political fight over liquor appears bound to continue.
“Move B—- (Get Out The Way),” Ludacris
What a week for Wolf. In addition to all this budget stuff, he continued his practice of removing opponents from state positions and filling them with people who share his views. On Monday, he demoted SRC chair Bill Green, less than a week after Green approved five new charter schools for Philadelphia, and replaced him with public school proponent Marjorie Neff.
“Let Your Love Grow Tall,” Passion Pit
Think happy thoughts or spend a lot of money in Philadelphia or convince a massive corporation to move in and hire thousands. Something. Philly needs it. Its economic growth among the lowest worldwide of the 300 largest metros and behind most of its American peers. But our growth still beats Paris. Baby steps or something!
“Vindicated,” Dashboard Confessional
Local weather forecasters got it right when they unanimously predicted a the largest snowfall of the season on Thursday. Thanks a lot, guys. Now please let it end.