Thursday, January 19, 2012

Budget update, January 19

  • DC Council budget office takes more active role in budget hearings:   Historically, each council committee queries the agencies under their purview in advance of budget hearings.   For the FY 2013 process, the council budget office led by Jen Budoff is itself issuing a standard set of questions to each agency prior to its budget hearing.   Committee staff have participated in the standard list development.   The responses will be shared with CMs and staff and hopefully the public.

    Committees may still ask their own questions before and following agency budget hearings.

  • Committee on Health reaches out:   The Committee on Health (At-large CM David Catania, chair) mentioned FYs 2011 and 2012 oversight in their January 13 committee newsletter (email Email Molly Moulton to be added to the list).
    Committee on Health Oversight
    January marks the beginning of the Council’s Oversight season. As you may know, the Committee on Health has oversight responsibility for the Departments of Health, Mental Health, and Health Care Finance, along with the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, the various Health Professional Boards, and United Medical Center. The Oversight process allows the public and the Committee to ensure our agencies are running smoothly, producing desired results, and managing their funds in a responsible manner.

    Oversight season is your opportunity to communicate to the Committee what is working, what is not working, and what changes can be made to improve health programming in the District. If you have any suggestions for the Committee during Oversight, please reach out to the staff in the coming weeks. Your input is critical to ensuring a successful and productive Oversight season.

  • Disagreement about FY 2012 revenue:   In late December, CFO Natwar Gandhi briefed DC Council chairman Kwame Brown and Mayor Vincent Gray about the latest revenue estimates.   As discussed on the blog January 9, there is a bump in revenue in FY 2012 but less revenue than projected in September 2011 for FYs 2013 - FY 2016.   According to Michael Neibauer's article "Revenue poured in to D.C. in 2011, but flat period coming",
    As for the projected $42.2 million fiscal 2012 surplus, Brown has suggested two possibilities — shift 50 percent of it into the District's fund balance, or set it all aside to offset the projected gap in 2013.

    "Both of these alternatives represent responsible fiscal management tools that will maintain the District's financial strength," the council chairman wrote in a Dec. 21 letter to Gray.

    Mayor Gray wrote back (PDF) and explained why addressing the FY 2012 spending pressures is the responsible and appropriate thing to do.

  • Public roundtable on FY 2012 supplemental:   The Committee of the Whole (DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown, chair) is holding a public roundtable on "Fiscal Year 2012 Revised Budget Request Emergency Adjustment Act of 2012" January 24 at 10:00 am.   The public is encouraged to testify.   The details are in the roundtable notice (PDF).   Jen Budoff has asked the Gray Administration a series of questions in advance of the roundtable.

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