- Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia’s mayor has unveiled his first budget and is asking for a soda tax to help fund initiatives like universal pre-K, rehabbed recreation centers and better-equipped police and fire departments.

Mayor Jim Kenney told the city council Thursday that his 3-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages would provide $400 million to be split among several initiatives, including pre-K.

Kenney also wants $600 million to repair and reorganize city recreation centers, parks and libraries. He also wants $550,000 annually for five years to help pay for 800 police body cameras and two $50 million bonds to cover an energy efficiency campaign.

Kenney’s proposed spending plan is $4.17 billion. That’s $100 million more than last year’s budget.

The budget in now in the hands of the city council, which has opposed similar sugary drinks taxes twice before.

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