Council likely to override Nutter on DROP program; sick leave veto may stand

Philadelphia City Council could vote tomorrow to override two vetoes from Mayor Nutter—one involving a controversial pension benefit and the other dealing with paid sick leave among private sector employees.


In June, Council ignored Nutter’s pleas to abolish the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP, and instead enacted a bill modifying its provisions to make it less costly.


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Nutter struck it down, but Council Majority Leader Marian Tasco said in an interview Wednesday there’s broad support for overriding the mayor.

“Folks want to do something about the DROP program, and they weren’t of the mind to throw it out,” Tasco said. “If we don’t pass (the override) we keep what we already have, which we don’t want.”

Tasco is one of six current council members enrolled in the program and will collect six-figure lump sum payments in December.

Nutter has said he hopes if the current Council doesn’t eliminate the program, the new Council being sworn in in January will.

“As long as there is a DROP program, I am going to work to end that program and the additional costs that come with it,” Nutter said.

Council also passed a bill in June requiring many private employers in the city to give workers paid sick leave.

The Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Nutter say that measure would cost the city jobs, so Nutter vetoed it.

The bill passed Council the first time by a bare 9-8 majority, and co-sponsor Bill Greenlee needs 12 of Council’s 17 members for an override.

Greenlee said mandatory sick leave is catching on across the country.

“Seattle passed a bill. Denver has a ballot question, which supposedly all polls show is going to be passed overwhelmingly,” Greenlee said Wednesday. “This is coming, and I think (the question is) ‘are we going to be in the forefront, or are we going to wait,’ because it’s going to come.”

Greenlee said if he can’t muster the necessary votes, he won’t seek an override vote.

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