By Amaris Elliott-Engel
Of the Legal Staff
As the city of Philadelphia continues to seek approval of its five-year budget plan with the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, City Controller Alan Butkovitz questioned today how the city could propose to eliminate “public defender positions while the District Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes these cases, continues to receive sufficient funding to maintain its current staffing levels.”
Overall, Butkovitz was opposed to the city’s first five-year plan, but Butvokitz is now in favor of the city’s revised plan because the revised plan “demonstrates sufficient expenditure reductions to cover the cost” of an arbitration award in favor of the International Association of Fire Fighters Award, if the city loses on its appeal of the arbitration award.
The proposal to eliminate public defenders is one of the cuts the city said it would make if it has to pay more to the firefighters.
Butkovitz also questioned how the city can expect to further grow decreases in expenditures in the Philadelphia Prison System from $1.9 million to $3.6 million when the prison population is “a factor which is clearly beyond the city’s ability to control.”
Here’s my story from earlier this month on how the firefighter arbitration award could mean more cuts to the city’s court system.
The next PICA board meeting is set for Sept. 5.