House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee Markup: Provisions Impacting the District

On June 3, 2019, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government marked up the federal appropriations bill that includes the District of Columbia. The proposed measure is historic – for the first time the bill fully respects budget autonomy by leaving out any appropriations of our local funds. The subcommittee bill also lets the District govern itself by not including budget riders that previously limited local spending (including spending local funds on abortion and marijuana regulation).

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Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute for the Fiscal Year 2019 Revised Local Budget Adjustment Emergency Adjustment Act of 2019

The Council will consider an move an amendment in the nature of a substitute (ANS) for each of the following measures at the Additional Legislative Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 28, 2019:

  • PR 23-195, the Fiscal Year 2019 Revised Local Budget Adjustment Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2019

  • Bill 23-205, the Fiscal Year 2019 Revised Local Budget Emergency Adjustment Act of 2019

  • Bill 23-206, the Fiscal Year 2019 Revised Local Budget Temporary Adjustment Act of 2019

 The ANS for the emergency and temporary bills includes several technical changes developed in concert with the Council’s Office of the General Counsel, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and the Executive. In addition, the following changes were made:

 Various adjustments to agency budgets in FY 2019 as requested by the Mayor or as incorporated into the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget and Financial Plan as approved by the Council at first reading on May 14, 2019.

  • Capital project reallocations and designated fund transfers as previously included in the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Act of 2019, approved by the Council at first reading on May 14, 2019. These provisions are now included in this bill to ensure that they take effect expeditiously.

 The ANS for PR 23-195 simply revises that emergency declaration resolution in light of the changes made to the underlying emergency bill.

 

Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute for the Fiscal Year 2020 Local Budget Act of 2019

The Council will consider an amendment in the nature of a substitute (ANS) for Bill 23-208, the “Fiscal Year 2020 Local Budget Act of 2019” at the Additional Legislative Meeting scheduled on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The ANS makes several revisions and clarifying changes to the legislation, in addition to technical fixes developed in concert with the Council’s Office of the Budget Director, the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and the Executive.

The ANS changes the sweep of a portion of the unrestricted reserves of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority (Events DC). At first reading, the “Fiscal Year 2020 Local Budget Act of 2019” took $60 million from the unrestricted reserves and distributed them equally to: (1) contribute to the Public Housing Authority's critical need for maintenance to keep (or make) more units available to low income residents; and (2) avoid the Mayor's proposed $0.80 per room or suite per night tax on hotels. The attached amendment in the nature of a substitute revises this amount downward to $49 million but maintains the use as adopted at first reading. It is important for members to realize that the Chief Financial Officer disagrees with this action – both at the $60 and $49 million levels. However, since first reading the Chariman has worked with our General Counsel, the Attorney General, and others to confirm the CFO's interpretation of the law and bond documents governing the Convention Center Authority. The opinion and advice that we have received is contrary to the CFO and Events DC, which is that the Council does have the authority to use some portion of the unrestricted reserves for other appropriations. The most conservative advice is reflected in the ANS. The CFO may continue to dispute this action.

The ANS for Bill 23-208 also includes:

Operating budget changes:

  • Restores $7,500,000 to the Housing Preservation Fund in the Department of Housing and Community Development

  • Funds the “Rental Housing Commission Independence Clarification Act of 2018” 

  • Increases $49,000,000 in Non-Departmental to be directed from the Washington Convention and Sports Authority (also known as Events DC) to the D.C. Housing Authority’s Public Housing Modernization Fund and the Office of Unified Communications E-911 Fund and be used to repeal the “Emergency and Non-Emergency Number Telephone Calling Systems Funding Amendment Act of 2019”

  • Makes other minor, conforming, and technical changes

 

Capital budget changes:

  • $35,000,000 for Saint Elizabeths Medical Center shifted from FY21 to FY20 to accelerate hospital master site and infrastructure requirements planning, design and construction of an access road for the new shelter, and construction of a public parking garage to serve the Medical Center and the Entertainment and Sports Arena

  •  $22,000,000 for replacement of the 801 East Men’s Shelter and shift from FY20 to FY19

  •  $53,000,000 for Banneker High School modernization/renovation to restore the proposed $141,783,300 budget and shift $2,251,536 from FY21 to FY19

  •  Makes other minor, conforming, and technical changes

 

Narrative changes:

  • Clarifies language in the Commission of Arts and Humanities regarding dedicated taxes

  • Restores language inadvertently omitted in the committee print in the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants outlining the programs receiving funding through the Access to Justice Initiative

  • Adds language in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education regarding the WIC grant to DC Central Kitchen

  • Adds the Parking Meter Pay-by-Phone Transaction Fee Fund in the Department of Transportation, at the request of the Mayor

 

 

Circulation of FY 2020 Budget and Financial Plan

The proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget and Financial Plan makes significant investments in the areas of housing, education, and early childhood supports.  You will find a comprehensive summary of all the Council’s modifications to the budget in the Local Budget Act (LBA) report; I recommend that you begin your review with that document.   All budget documents are posted at www.dccouncilbudget.com/fiscal-year-2020-budget.

  • The Council offers $13.6 million in enhancements to fund a 3.0% UPSFF increase and a 0.225 at-risk student weight in FY 2020. 

  • The Council is dedicated to expanding and coordinating access to early childhood services and supports, with special attention to equitable access to opportunity regardless of race, ethnicity, or zip code. In the FY 2020 budget, the Council proudly builds upon its prior investments and directs $8.5 million to partially fund the “Birth-to-Three for All DC Act of 2018.” 

  • The Council continues its investments in the Cure the Streets program with an enhancement of $3.9 million in FY 2020. Further, the Council enables the OAG to capture an additional $3 million per fiscal year in its non-lapsing Litigation Support Fund for crime prevention purposes.

  • The Council dedicates $20.5 million in housing and housing supports, including $7.9 million to create approximately 389 new units of housing for extremely low-income families and individuals through the D.C. Housing Authority’s Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP). The Council is proud to make this critical investment while preserving the integrity of the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). The Council was able to achieve this important goal without redirecting any dedicated taxes or funds from HPTF. 

  • The Council shifts the closing of the United Medical Center to January 2023, ensuring residents of the East End continue to have access to hospital care. Additionally, the Council includes labor protections to ensure our workforce is not adversely affected by UMC’s closure.

  • The Council includes funding for an Expenditure Commission, modeled on the well-regarded Tax Revision Commission, to review and analyze the District’s current budget structure and its expenditures for the current and previous 5 fiscal years, and make recommendations for improving the District’s budget.

In addition to these highlights, the LBA report describes the significant changes that the Council made to the Mayor’s proposed budget and explains how these adjustments make the District a better place for its residents and businesses.

Finally, I just wanted to give a special thanks to the outstanding team in the Budget Office: Angela Joyner, Anne Phelps, Joe Wolfe, Averil Carraway, Jason Kim and Susanna Groves. Without them, there would be no budget.

As always, my staff and I are available to answer any questions you may have. Thank you again for your assistance and support,

Jen Budoff

Markups and Committee Reports

Hello - All Council Committees will be marking up their budget reports this week. We will post the draft reports as they are circulated at https://www.dccouncilbudget.com/fiscal-year-2020-budget.

COMMITTEE MARK-UP SCHEDULE                                        

TUESDAY, APRIL 30, 2019; COUNCIL CHAMBER (Room 500)         

  • POSTPONED TO 5/2/19: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Committee on Health    

  • CANCELLED: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Committee on Recreation and Youth Affairs      

  • 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.  Committee on Facilities and Procurement      

  • 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Committee on Government Operations 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 2019; COUNCIL CHAMBER (Room 500)      

  • 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Committee on Business and Economic Development

  • 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Committee on Human Services      

  • 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Committee on Finance and Revenue              

  • 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization      

  • 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Committee on Labor and Workforce Development                                        

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2019; COUNCIL CHAMBER (Room 500)      

  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Committee on Transportation and the Environment      

  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Committee on the Judiciary

  • POSTPONED TO 3:00 p.m.: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Committee on Health      

  • 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.  Committee on the Education      

  • NEW TIME: 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Committee on Health  

  • 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.  Committee of the Whole   

More resources at dccouncilbudget.com!

Happy Budget Day! The Budget Office has been posting resources on our website and will continue to post as documents become available.  We hope that you will use our site as one-stop shopping to find everything you need to navigate the next 70 days. 

Three pages to visit regularly:

1.       Under the Budget Formulation and Approval tab, there is a page called Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.  This page has/will have links to the official documents related to the FY 2020 budget, including the Local Budget Act, the Budget Support Act and the Budget Books. 

2.       Under the Budget Guidance tab, there is a page called Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Toolkit for Council Staff.  This page contains the documents the Budget Office creates for Council staff, such as a spreadsheet of the proposed capital improvements plan and a description of the provisions in the President’s FY 2020 budget that impact the District

3.       Finally, under the Interactive Dashboards tab, there is a FY 2020 Proposed Budget Dashboard that provides very simple visualizations of the proposed budget by agency and funding source.  We will be posting additional dashboards that get into the nitty gritty of the budget in the coming days. 

We will be regularly updating these pages – and the entire site – with useful information.  We look forward to spending a lot of time with you over these next 70 days!!

Thanks again, Jen Budoff

 

The President’s FY20 Proposed Budget: Provisions Impacting the District

Hello!

On March 11, 2019, the White House released the President’s proposed FY20 budget, which includes federal payments to the District and a number of budget “riders” – prohibitions on how the District can spend certain funds. Although it is unlikely to be enacted as proposed, the President’s budget is the first step in the federal appropriations process. It also provides the basis for the Fiscal Year 2020 Federal Portion Budget Request Act of 2019, which is included in the Mayor’s FY20 budget transmittal to Council.

The President’s FY20 Proposed Budget: Provisions Impacting the District highlights the federal payments included in the proposal, as well as other elements affecting the District’s autonomy and authority.

Please note that federal payments are just a tiny part of the District’s $14.5 billion budget.  Local dollars -- $11 billion -- account for 76.3 percent of the District’s total budget.  Most of the rest — $3.4 billion or 23.4 percent — is federal formula spending that includes Medicaid and federal grants available to all jurisdictions. Overall, approximately 99.7 percent of the District’s budget is derived from local revenue and federal grants not unique to the District. The remainder, one third of 1 percent of the budget, comes from federal payments specifically requested for programs or projects unique to the District. 

Thanks much, Jen Budoff

 

Policy Brief: Keeping the Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) Affordable and Equitable

The Council of the District of Columbia’s Office of the Budget Director is pleased to issue a new policy brief on Keeping the Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) Affordable and Equitable: Nine Strategies for Managing the CRIAC’s Cost While Ensuring the Clean River Project’s Financial Viability. This report was prepared at the request of Councilmember Mary Cheh and Chairman Phil Mendelson.

 D.C. Water’s Clean Rivers Project is an infrastructure initiative aimed at reducing 96% of the District of Columbia’s combined sewer overflows by 2030. The project is federally mandated, but the costs have largely fallen on District utility customers through a fee called the CRIAC.  This policy brief examines nine strategies that the D.C. Council could take to reduce the financial strain that the CRIAC has placed on ratepayers while ensuring that the infrastructure project is adequately funded.

  1. Protect financially vulnerable utility customers by extending the CRIAC Residential & Nonprofit Relief Programs

  2. Alter the CRIAC rate structure to include a water and sewer volumetric component

  3. Increase progressivity by subjecting public rights-of-way to the CRIAC

  4. Promote green solutions by raising the value of CRIAC Incentive Program

  5. Lower customers’ costs by reducing or eliminating D.C. government’s pass-through fees from D.C. Water’s monthly bills

  6. Ensure that the Blue Plains Intermunicipal Agreement requires all jurisdictions pay their fair share

  7. Lobby Congress for regular and significant support from the federal government to solve a problem that it helped create

  8. Improve accountability by re-examining D.C. Water’s governance structure

  9. Reduce ratepayer costs by re-negotiating the Consent Decree

 Some of the choices would provide immediate relief, while others have the potential to address the underlying challenge of providing clean and affordable water and sewer services but would take many years to implement. Several of them are entirely within the control of the District government; others require participation from regional partners or the federal government. Each of these proposals offers benefits and trade-offs.

 We drew together these options by consulting D.C. Council, agency staff, and stakeholders; considering choices made by other jurisdictions; and conducting a literature review. The authors selected these policy proposals because they would raise enough revenue to meet the Consent Decree’s terms, promote an equitable funding scheme, incentivize stormwater retention, protect the CRIAC’s legal status as a fee, and be easily understood and feasible to implement.

 We will present this report to Councilmembers at a Legislative Breakfast and hold staff briefings.  We would be happy to schedule individual meetings with Councilmembers or their staff to review the report’s findings.

Thank you very much! Jen Budoff

Policy & Economic Research in the Office of the Budget Director

The Office of the Budget Director conducts policy and economic research for the D.C. Council. It produces issue briefs on matters of ongoing concern and releases in-depth reports on substantial policy and legislative matters. The Office has previously published two Economic and Policy Impact Statements that examine providing a minimum income and paid family and medical leave.   We invite you to visit our website at www.dccouncilbudget.com to learn more. 

More budget resources than you can shake a stick at!

Good Morning:  As we head into budget season, please bookmark www.dccouncilbudget.com and use it as your central resource to find all things budget-related. 

Under the Budget Formulation & Approval menu you will be able to find an overview of the process, all of the key FY20 budget documents in one place (see the FY19 page for last year’s documents) and regularly updated hearing schedules

Under the Budget Guidance menu, click on Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Toolkit for Council Staff to find documents and links to resources we hope will help you navigate this year’s budget season.  We will be updating this page regularly with new resources so be sure to check back often. 

We sincerely hope these tools are helpful to you. We want to make things better and easier – please send us your comments and suggestions on how we can improve our site for you.

Thanks again!  Jen Budoff

 

 

Check out our budget dashboards!

Good Morning: On Monday we launched our new website www.dccouncilbudget.com and yesterday we sent out our first tweet from @dccouncilbudget (thanks to our first 147 followers as of 9:39 am).  Today we encourage you to take a look at the pilot, interactive dashboards featured on our website.  We created these dashboards with the goal of increasing transparency while reducing the difficulty of understanding agencies’ budgets and expenditures. We chose DCPS and DOES for our pilot launch, and plan to add others in the future.  

These dashboards include data visualizations on budget, expenditures, vendors, human resources, and programmatic data in a streamlined manner. For example, you can now review individual schools’ information between FY2015 – FY2018 in just one click. Also, these dashboards include data on budget changes (increases and decreases) throughout the fiscal years by each month. This should reflect all budget modifications and reprogrammings for all fund types.

We sincerely hope these tools are helpful to you. We want to make things better and better – please send us your comments and suggestions on how we can improve our site for you.

 

Thank you!  Jen Budoff

Welcome

We sincerely hope that you will find our website to a be a useful tool. We plan to update it regularly, and new content will be developed over time to further support Councilmembers and their staff.  Over the next few weeks, we will be sending emails to members and staff that will delve deeper into the various resources on the site. 

We want your input on making this website better – we built it for you!  Please send us your comments or suggestions. We look forward to your ideas, recommendations, and suggestions. Please direct any inquires here.

www.dccouncilbudget.com

@dccouncilbudget

Thank you!  Jen Budoff