Rep. Youngblood: Wednesday hearing will focus on school-funding legislation

State Rep. Rosita Youngblood announced this week that she and Rep. Mike O’Brien will host a Wednesday meeting at the Independence Visitor Center to discuss their proposed legislation which would use gaming revenue for School District of Philadelphia funding.

The House Democratic Policy Committee hearing will take place in the Liberty View Ballroom at the Sixth and Market streets facility from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to a press release from Youngblood’s office, “the hearing will focus on a legislative proposal that would provide immediate funding for the Philadelphia School District while local and state officials debate and discuss property reassessment for city residents.

“The hearing will also examine the effects and impacts of the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), the proposal offered by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter that would reassess Philadelphia properties to bring in additional tax revenues.”

Expected to testify are tax-reform advocate Brett Mandel and Queen Village Neighborhood Association President Jeff Hornstein, while representatives from the Mayor’s Office, school district and City Council were invited to participate.

The hearing comes less than four weeks after O’Brien and Youngblood introduced House Bill 2361, which, if passed, would reprioritize the use of gaming funds and put them towards school operations.

“Unfortunately, this may be the best — if not the only — way for the Philadelphia School District to avoid insolvency,” said Youngblood, who represents Germantown and other portions of Northwest Philadelphia. “We want to make clear that we are not raising taxes with this legislation. We are just redirecting funds from the city’s gaming revenue.”

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