Council Ready to Begin Scrutiny of Mayor’s Budget Proposal

Yesterday, for the first time, the details of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s FY 2016 budget proposal were released to the public during a briefing to the Council.  Mayor Bowser provided a broad overview of the budget before handing the presentation over to her City Administrator, Rashad Young.

The Mayor’s proposal includes a long-promised $100 million for the housing production trust fund, body cameras for all police officers, increased anti-homelessness spending, and funding for the existing streetcar line, as well as support for eventual extensions to Georgetown and into Ward 7.
The Mayor proposed closing an approximately $200 million budget gap through technical means, reduced Medicaid reimbursements, a 5% cut to the University of the District of Columbia’s budget, an additional 0.25% in sales taxes, and increased taxes on parking and electronic cigarettes.

The release of the Mayor’s budget proposal is the capstone to the Administration’s long budget process, but just the beginning of the Council’s process.  After weeks of agency-by-agency performance oversight hearings held by each Council committee, the release of the Mayor’s budget proposal marks the next phase in the Council’s process. After returning from its spring recess, Council committees will once again tackle an agency-by-agency review, this time focusing on that agency’s slice of the Mayor’s broader budget pie. The schedule for these hearings is available here.

Uncharacteristically, the Council was fairly quiet during a scheduled twenty minute question-and-answer session immediately following the Administration’s presentation yesterday.  A cavalcade of Council questions are significantly more likely at a scheduled April 13 briefing by the Mayor in the Council Chamber before the Committee of the Whole, and at the budget oversight hearings that will follow.

Mayor Muriel Bowser during the
FY 2016 Proposed Budget Briefing