This Week In Budget

Philadelphia City Council will continue its fiscal year 2024 budget hearings this week. Multiple departments will provide testimony, including the Commerce Department and Fire Department. Here is your preview of this week’s hearings:

Commerce Department

The Commerce Department works to spur economic growth by helping the city develop new businesses and maintaining existing businesses. They list the following as their key goals for fiscal year 2024:

Provide trusted guidance and a simplified process to establish, grow, and operate a business.
• Drive equitable neighborhood revitalization that contributes to vibrant commercial corridors.
• Attract and retain businesses through business resources and strategic investments.
• Connect talent to growth industries and to jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.
• Bolster equitable access to capital and contracts for people who have been historically underserved.
• Leverage partnerships and research to drive policy and strategy.

They are asking for $18.4 million in fiscal year 2024.

Aviation Department

The Aviation Department includes the Philadelphia International Airport and the Northeast Philadelphia Airport. According to their budget testimony, they are completely self-sustaining (in that they receive no tax dollars), and they are responsible for generating over $16.8 billion of regional economic activity pre-pandemic.

Mural Arts Program

The Mural Arts Program is one of the city agencies tasked with creating public art throughout the city. The program develops 50-100 new mural projects per year. Their fiscal year 2024 budget request is just over $3.4 million.

Fire Department

One of the departments that require little explanation, the Philadelphia Fire Department is requesting just over $400 million in fiscal year 2024.

Children and Families

According to their website, The Office of Children and Families “administers a number of City-supported programs, including Out-of-School Time, WorkReady, Community Schools, and PHLpreK. The office also oversees the Department of Human Services (DHS), Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and the Free Library of Philadelphia.” Their fiscal year 2024 budget request is $481 million.

Parks and Recreation

The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for the city’s parks and rec centers, playgrounds, and pools. They also handled permitting for certain events, and administer recreation programs. Their fiscal year 2024 budget request is almost $78.5 million.

Human Services

The Office of Human Services is the city’s child welfare agency. They work to enable the safe care of children, operate the child abuse hotline, facilitate foster and adoption services, and work on juvenile justice issues. Their fiscal year 2024 budget request is $9.7 million.


According to their website, “The Office of Sustainability (OOS) works with partners around the city to improve quality of life in all Philadelphia neighborhoods, through addressing environmental justice, reducing the city’s carbon emissions, and preparing Philadelphia for a hotter and wetter future.” Their fiscal year 2024 budget request is $1.8 million.

Free Library

Another department that requires little explanation, the Free Library administers the city’s library branches, sponsors events, and works on literacy issues. Their fiscal year 2024 budget request is nearly $71 million.

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