Overriding Nutter’s veto, Philly council preserves DROP

Philadelphia City Council has voted unanimously to override a veto from Mayor Michael Nutter. The move means the retirement incentive program known as “DROP” will stick around, but cost Philadelphia less.

The changes mean enrollees will earn market rate interest on their DROP accounts instead of a fixed rate of 4.5 percent. Additionally, some workers will have to wait longer before entering the program. Supporters say it will now cost about $20 million instead of previous estimates of between $100 million and $250 million.

Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez says killing DROP would spark a court fight.

“If I think it was legal, and the mayor negotiated it out of the union contracts, I would definitely eliminate it, but I don’t want to open up a legal can of worms,” she said.

Nutter says he’s disappointed.

“The bill that they passed is tinkering around the edges at best. We can’t afford this program. It needs to go away and I’m going to push for the elimination of this program,” Nutter said. “The taxpayers can’t afford it.”

The mayor says the DROP money could be used for improving recreation centers and other city services.

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