The D.C. Council's fight with Mayor Vince Gray over budget autonomy could be resolved only two weeks before the Council has to make its first vote on the mayor's budget, according to a schedule laid out today in a federal court hearing over the lawsuit filed by the Council and Chairman Phil Mendelson against Gray and Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWitt.
The District’s effort to decriminalize marijuana may be facing its first challenge from Congress.
In May, a House Oversight and Government Reform panel will convene for a hearing focused on the local legislation, according to Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. In a statement, she called it “inappropriate” to hold a hearing on the local marijuana laws of only one jurisdiction “when 18 states have decriminalized marijuana, 21 states have legalized medical marijuana and two states have legalized marijuana.”
Members of the House of Representatives will hold a hearing on D.C.'s marijuana decriminalization bill next month, a move that could lead to it being overturned under the Home Rule Act.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations will hold the hearing to examine possible conflicts with federal law.
The District government’s internal fight over its fiscal autonomy from Congress will be first heard, if not ultimately resolved, in the federal courts.
The D.C. Council filed its lawsuit last week in D.C. Superior Court, the District’s local court of general jurisdiction, putting it on a path to be ultimately decided in the D.C. Court of Appeals, the highest local court and one with a long history of resolving inter-branch disputes and interpreting the home rule charter.
Among the dozens of documents released Friday by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library — part of a trove of internal Clinton administration documents gradually being revealed to the public — is a fascinating piece of D.C. political history.
It is a Dec. 27, 1996, memo to Clinton, drafted by budget director Franklin D. Raines, presenting a menu of options for putting the District government on a sustainable financial footing — and, more broadly, setting the city on a path to prosperity.
Attorneys preparing to sue Mayor Vincent Gray and his administration to force compliance with the District’s budget autonomy law informed all relevant members of Congress before heading to D.C. Superior Court on Thursday.
Hours later, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee called for Congress to pass legislation co-sponsored by Chairman Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, that would permit the District to spend local tax funds without congressional approval.
Six days after Mayor Vince Gray’s office told DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson’sschedule for passing the city’s 2015 budget would violate federal law and trigger a local government shutdown, the Council took the bait and sued Gray, claiming the District has more autonomy over its budget than the mayor’s office lets on.
The D.C. Council is suing Mayor Vincent Gray's office over a law that gives the city more control over its local budget.
District voters approved a referendum in 2012 that allows the city to spend its local tax dollars without authorization by Congress. Gray supported the measure but said he had questions about its legality. The referendum became law after Congress made no effort to invalidate it.
The D.C. Council sued the mayor for the first time in more than a decade Thursday, challenging Vincent C. Gray’s refusal to abide by a ballot measure granting the city greater fiscal freedom from Congress, even as Gray emphasized his sympathy with the council’s ultimate goal.
A conflict between the D.C. Council and Mayor Vincent Gray over whether or not the city now enjoys budget autonomy is heading to court, and a ruling could have an impact on how this year's budget process plays out.
The Council is filing suit today over last year's budget autonomy referendum, in which 83 percent of D.C. residents voted to amend the city's Home Rule Charter to allow the city more control over its locally raised funds.