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City Commissioners want to increase poll workers' pay

Today City Commissioners asked City Council for more money to give a raise to poll workers and to pay for an education campaign about the new voter ID law.

The office's budget request for fiscal year 2013 includes a $1.5 million increase over its current $8.9 million budget.

Since 1999 poll workers who work long hours are paid $75 to $100 a day, Stephanie Singer, chairwoman of the Office of the City Commissioners told City Council yesterday during a budget hearing. Singer proposed increasing poll workers pay to $152 based on a prevailing hourly wage of $10.88 for 14 hours which would cost the city $1 million.

"I realize that's a large number, but our poll workers deserve it," Singer said. Survey and data analysis related to Voter ID's would cost $100,000.

City Councilman Bill Greenlee agreed that poll workers should be paid more, but said the proposed state budget cuts may impact the city's social services and he could not say whether Council could support the proposal.

Meanwhile, the Department of Human Services asked for an extra $930,000 to fund debt service for the Juvenile Justice Center; the Department of Public Health requested $1.2 million more to continue anti-tobacco and anti-obesity efforts related to the Get Healthy Philly campaign and the Office of Supportive Housing requested an extra $1.2 million which includes increasing staff by 10.