Kenney, Clarke say they are working on budget compromise

Mayor Jim Kenney talks with reporters outside City Hall. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Mayor Jim Kenney talks with reporters outside City Hall. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

It appears as if both Philadelphia City Council and Mayor Jim Kenney are willing to compromise to find funding for expanded pre-K and other initiatives.  

A modified sugary beverage tax or some other levy could be a possibility, Kenney said Thursday.  While he’s still looking for votes supporting his proposed 3 cent-per-ounce tax, Kenney said, he and council agree on goals for the revenue.

“There’s no discussion, there’s no difference in all of our belief that pre-K community schools and parks renovations are good for the city overall, it’s just how we pay for it,” Kenney said. “I’m meeting with them regularly, met with the Council president twice on two different days, and we’re all working in good faith to get it done.”

Council President Darrell Clarke also said he is willing to compromise and that he will work with the mayor to come out with a budget sooner rather than later.

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Meanwhile, Councilman Mark Squilla said he expects a deal between Council and the mayor.

“I don’t have any idea what it is right now, hopefully within the next week we will come up with something that [a Council majority] can adhere to and support,” said Squilla.  “At this point, I don’t think we are there. But I know by next week we will be there.”

The mayor stressed that wrangling over his proposed beverage tax has not hurt his relationship with City Council.

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