Former Mayor Williams, Tom Davis, Alice Rivlin to Discuss Importance of DC Budget Freedom Bill at Nov. 9 DC Council Hearing
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November 8, 2012
Three well-known advocates for greater DC democracy will lead off a DC Council hearing on the Local Budget Autonomy Act of 2012.
Former DC Mayor Anthony Williams, former Republican Congressman Tom Davis, and former Federal Reserve Board member Alice Rivlin will endorse local budget control for the District. The bill, (19-993), provides for a voter referendum to amend the Home Rule Act and give DC greater budget autonomy.
Under the bill, once the DC Council and the Mayor approve the spending of the city’s local revenues in its local budget, the city would no longer have to wait indefinitely for Congress to pass affirmative legislation approving the budget.
Untangling the District’s budget from the federal appropriations process is an idea whose time has come. The city has produced a balanced budget each of the last 11 years, building up cash reserves and dramatically improving its credit rating. Meanwhile, federal and state officials struggle with putting their finances in order.
The lack of budget autonomy imposes significant costs upon the city. Every time the Federal Government threatens a shutdown, the District government is forced to spend city funds preparing for a potential city shutdown. The routine months-long delays in Congress approving DC’s local budget cost the city millions in extra interest charges and undermine sound fiscal planning.
The hearing will explore the benefits of budget autonomy, the impacts of congressional oversight of the DC budget and the legal bases for the bill.
WHO: Former DC Mayor Anthony Williams, Former Congressman Tom Davis, Alice Rivlin
WHAT: DC Council Committee of the Whole Hearing on DC budget autonomy referendum bill
WHEN: Friday, November 9, 12:00 Noon
WHERE: Room 500 John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW