On Friday, July 29, DC Act 21-414 – the FY 2017 Budget for the District of Columbia, became law after completion of the 30-day Congressional review period. This is the first budget passed under the Local Budget Autonomy Act of 2012 and will allow the District of Columbia to spend its locally raised funds on October 1st, 2016. The Mayor and DC Council have fiercely advocated for budget autonomy since it was overwhelmingly passed by District residents several years ago. Earlier this year, the DC Superior Court ruled that the Local Budget Autonomy Act is legal and must be enforced by the District of Columbia government. Since deciding not to appeal the decision, the Office of the Attorney General has worked with the Mayor and Council to implement the law moving forward in our budget process.
“With our first budget under the Budget Autonomy becoming law today, the District of Columbia passes another mile marker to our final destination: statehood,” said Mayor Bowser. “With the 30-day Congressional review period in our rearview mirror, our Administration can give residents greater certainty that their locally raised tax dollars will be used for their priorities in the upcoming fiscal year. I applaud Congresswoman Norton for her tireless efforts to protect the will of District residents, and Chairman Mendelson – as well as the Council – for relentlessly defend Budget Autonomy. We can and will all continue to work together until we manifest our destiny as the 51st State.”
“We are pleased that Congress did not upend the will of the District’s residents in its 30-day review period for our Fiscal Year 2017 Budget,” said Attorney General Karl Racine. “We stand with the Mayor, the Chairman and the Council in the District’s ongoing fight for autonomy and statehood. I would like to offer my profoundest thanks to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton for her fierce and tireless work to protect the District from congressional interference in this instance as well as countless others over the last quarter-century.”
This law means that the District will spend its local funds regardless of Congress’ ability to pass its spending bills by October 1st.