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Nutter in Harrisburg Today

So Mayor Nutter is out in Harrisburg today, knocking on doors and asking for support for Philadelphia's budget plan. The city needs state approval for several key measures in the budget that help close a $1.4 billion gap in the city's five-year financial plan.

The mayor's press office couldn't provide an exact list of who the mayor will be schmoozing. But he is expected to meet with legislators, their staffers and representatives from the governor's office.

PhillyClout hears Nutter bumped into state House of Representatives minority leader Sam Smith in the halls of the capitol and they chatted budget for a while.

State budgets, which start on July 1, are often not approved until mid-July. So it may be a while before Nutter knows if he's getting what he wants.

The city's $3.8 billion budget, which closes a $1.4 billion gap in the city's five-year financial plan, calls for a 1-cent increase in the sales tax for five years. That tax is now 7 cents on the dollar, with 6 cents going to the state and 1 cent to the city.

The budget also includes two changes in the city pension fund. Nutter plans to defer some payments into the fund for two years, to be paid back later. He also wants to stretch payments to the fund over 30 years instead of 20.

All of those measures require state approval. Without that approval, the city must implement an alternate budget that could include police layoffs, elimination of some fire equipment and reductions in trash collection.