Bill with $700M for Philly held up

HARRISBURG, Pa. - September 8, 2009 Police and firefighter unions say the pension changes would weaken members' collective-bargaining rights, while Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl opposes a provision requiring a state takeover of the city's pension plan.

The pension changes are contained in the same bill that would allow Philadelphia to temporarily raise its sales tax and take other steps to avoid the layoffs of thousands of city employees.

Representatives of the House Democratic majority and the Senate Republican majority are discussing possible changes to the pension provisions.

The House vote originally planned for Tuesday has been put off until Thursday.

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