Moment of Truth for Budget Crisis

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter revealed a “Plan-C” budget on Thursday with millions of dollars in cuts to everything from police to libraries that could happen if Pennsylvania lawmakers don’t act soon to help out the city.

The city asked the Commonwealth to approve measures to revamp Philadelphia’s pension program and increase the city sales tax. But Pa. lawmakers haven't approved any changes for the city despite Nutter's pleas.

The proposed “Plan-C” cuts were severe with layoffs across the board possibly coming by October 2.

The most glaring proposed cuts were to the police and fire departments.

Nearly $44 million will be cut from the police budget and possibly 739 sworn officers and 43 civilian positions could be out of a job.

The total reduction for the fiscal year of 2010 could include up to 929 sworn officers, according to the Mayor’s office.

The fire department will need to deactivate six engines and eliminate 156 positions (36 officers and 120 firefighters). There would also be cuts to 40 paramedic positions.

The fire department cuts would save $16.7 million from the budget, said Nutter.

Other cuts include the free library system closing all 53 branches ($29.6 million and 490 jobs), two health centers closing ($4.7 million and 122 jobs) and the entire closure of the Recreation Department ($30.8 million and 520 jobs).

The Streets Department will also take a huge hit with $14.4 million in cuts. There will be bi-weekly trash collection and flashing red-light intersections because there won’t be enough workers to replace bulbs.

There were so many more departments and services that will be cut. The city released a list of the full impact that these cuts will have on Philadelphians.

The cuts must be made to keep a balanced budget for the fiscal year.

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