City Council's Commerce and Economic Development Committee approved a bill sponsored by Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr. yesterday that requires city-supported employers to offer paid sick leave despite testimony from the Nutter administration opposing the measure.
Along with municipal agencies, the bill applies to recipients of city leases and concessions — such as new companies that take advantage of tax breaks and other city economic development initiatives.
The city's Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Michael Nutter's administration asserted that the measure would discourage businesses from relocating to Philadelphia.
“The Nutter administration is in agreement with the sponsor that the government needs to be aware of how city workers are treated,” said Finance Director Rob Dubow. “But we are opposed to sick leave for all. It's harmful to Philadelphia job creation because of its economic impact.”
Dubow said that the bill would serve as one more impediment to attracting development to a city already viewed as having a hostile business climate.
“The administration's testimony was very generalized and simply mirrored the position of the Chamber of Commerce,” said Goode, adding that no one was able to provide concrete statistics showing how the initiative would hinder development.
Some more Goode bills
Three other bills sponsored by Goode aimed at increasing transparency and fairness in the city's economic development process were approved by committee.
One would create a new monitoring and enforcement agency to oversee terms of the Living Wage and Benefits law.
Another would require Economic Opportunity Plans to be submitted to Council and posted on the city's website.
The third created regulations for new 10-year tax credit agreements.
The city Office of Economic Opportunity Angela Dow Burton testified in support.
Some notable bills on City Council's final passage agenda for its general meeting tomorrow include:
Councilmen Darrell Clarke, Frank DiCicco and Jim Kenney's controversial satellite legislation, which would ban homeowners and some tenants from putting satellite dishes on the front of homes when an alternative location is available and if the moving the dish doesn't impede signal reception or result in a significant cost to homeowners
Councilwoman Marian Tasco's bill that was introduced on behalf of Council President Anna Verna, revising the boundaries of Council districts
Resolution mandating that court fines for witness intimidation must be paid into a special fund to be used for witness and victim assistance.