Mayor Nutter warns of court shutdown

August 19, 2009 3:33:22 PM PDT
Philadelphia's court system will face a "virtual shutdown" if the cash-strapped city does not get state approval for a sales tax increase and changes to how it makes its pension payments. That's according to Mayor Michael Nutter and court officials at a news conference Wednesday.

Philadelphia is facing a $1.4 billion five-year budget deficit. The city has asked the state to approve a temporary sales tax increase in Philadelphia and allow changes to how the city makes its pension payments.

Without those changes, Nutter says nearly 1,000 police officers and 200 firefighters would be cut. District Attorney Lynne Abraham says her office and others would face devastating cuts, too.

In Harrisburg, a state legislative leader says he hopes to have a bill ready for a vote next week.