Investments Extend Steadfast Commitment to DC Values, Build Inclusive Prosperity for DC Residents
Mayor Muriel Bowser presented “DC Values in Action,” DC Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018) Budget and Financial Plan, to DC Council. As the twenty-second consecutive balanced budget, this proposal will help ensure that every single resident has a roadmap to inclusive prosperity. For the third consecutive year, Mayor Bowser hosted a series of budget engagement forums to hear directly from residents about their ideas and concerns about education, public safety, affordable housing, jobs, economic development, health, and human services.
“This budget fulfills our commitment to promote and defend DC Values and to aim for inclusive prosperity,” said Mayor Bowser. “From historic investments in public education, to investments in job training, second chances for returning citizens, and ensuring our families have a safe, affordable place to call home, this budget prioritizes DC residents by standing steadfast to our DC values.”
“DC Values in Action” incorporates this feedback along with agency recommendations and mayoral priorities to formulate the FY2018 budget proposal. From again investing $100 million in the Housing Production Trust Fund to allocating more than $1 billion in full-scale school modernizations, this budget will continue to move Washington, DC forward. Here are a few of the key investments proposed in DC Values in Action:
Rising enrollment in our traditional public and public charter schools, and increasing student achievement demonstrate that school reform in DC is working. The FY2018 budget makes the largest investment in public education in the history by:
- Committing an additional $105 million to increase the per student rate and meet the needs of a growing student body;
- Increasing charter school facilities by 2.2 percent to $3,193 per student for non-residential charter programs and $8,580 per student for residential charter schools;
- Improving technology to help parents navigate and engage in public education, specifically the parent portal for DC Public Schools; extending MySchoolDC for mid-year entries and transfers; and launching a new MyChildCareDC site;
- Increasing the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the Community College of the District of Columbia funds for the staff and programs by $5.7 million;
- Expanding and improving Child Care by $15 million. Potential sites include UDC’s Flagship Campus (4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW), UDC’s Community College Campus (5171 South Dakota Avenue, NE), UDC’s Community College Campus Headquarters (801 North Capitol Street, NE), and the Deanwood Recreation Center (1350 49th Street, NE);
- Transferring $4.9 million of former DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (CYITC) funds to the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) for out-of-school-time programming; and
- Investing $1.3 billion for school modernization over 6 years to ensure that schools in line for modernization under established, defined criteria are budgeted for necessary improvements.
Safer, Stronger DC
The District is committed to ensuring that those in all neighborhoods feel and are safe, providing an environment in which residents and businesses can thrive. The FY2018 budget includes the following investments:
- $11.7 million in enhancements focused on recruiting and retaining Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers, as well as ensuring that many officers can return to patrol-related duties. This will be accomplished through: a new public relations campaign; expansion of the police cadet program; expanded housing assistance; student loan forgiveness; and further civilianization of administrative positions;
- $2.3 million for the creation of a Returning Citizens Portal to be managed by the Department of Corrections. This will be a physical office offering services from various agencies to help returning citizens successfully transition back into the community. Vital post-release services include: housing, employment, education, health care, job training and placement, and substance use or mental health;
- $1 million for the establishment of a nurse triage collaborative pilot program between Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) and the Office of Unified Communications with a goal to improve access to medical services for callers into 911 by offering nurses who can speak to non-emergency callers and help them make an appointment at a same-day clinic;
- $20 million for essential upgrades to 311/911 hardware and software, including major upgrades to our secondary facility on McMillan Drive, NW;
- $42.2 million for the purchase of new MPD fleet vehicles;
- $87.7 million for the purchase of new FEMS fleet vehicles, and
- $45 million for the construction of a new fleet maintenance facility.
The Bowser Administration remains committed to producing, preserving, and protecting affordable housing in all 8 wards. This is demonstrated in this budget through the commitment of another $100 million contribution to the Housing Production Trust Fund. This investment will continue our shared goal to support grants and loans, thus yielding more affordable housing for DC families. This budget provides additional funds for the below projects’ affordable housing components:
- $2.5 million for DCRA to hire additional housing inspectors, increase the number of vacant and blighted properties abated, and improve internal business processes;
- $14 million for the redevelopment of Walter Reed;
- $103 million for the redevelopment of St. Elizabeths; and
- $85 million for the New Communities initiative.
Pathways to the Middle Class
Maintaining a strong, diverse, and resilient city requires that every resident has a fair shot, and a pathway to the middle class. This is accomplished by supporting our most vulnerable families and residents; providing job training that leads to real employment opportunities; and by nurturing our small businesses to ensure their growth and success. Some ways the FY2018 Budget provides Pathways to the Middle Class are:
- Continuing the investment in our youth through the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program by budgeting more than $20 million;
- Serving as a regional leader by again fully funding the District’s share of the WMATA budget, adding a new express bus line on 14th Street NW in Wards 1 and 4, and expanding capacity of existing bus service in Wards 7 and 8;
- Ensuring that the Department of Small and Local Business Development’s Certified Business Enterprise system continues to help our local businesses grow and obtain government contracts, and work on government funded projects by fully funding the program with $0.9 million;
- Funding $16.8 million towards the Washington, DC Infrastructure Academy at Saint Elizabeths’ East Campus. This new facility will focus on occupational skills training and work-based learning initiatives related to the infrastructure industry, including utility, energy efficiency, transportation, and logistics sectors. Industry partners, training providers such as UDC, labor unions, and trade associations will offer a diverse skills training allowing DC residents the tools to begin and sustain careers in the infrastructure industry;
- Implementing recommendations from the Housing Preservation Strikeforce through $10 million in funding; and
- Advancing DDOT’s Vision Zero goals through $4.5 million for 45 new Traffic Control Operators along with 26 new School Crossing Guards.
Health and Human Services ·
Investing in the health and well-being of residents remains a priority in the Bowser Administration. Ensuring residents are able to provide for their families and connecting these families with valuable care and supportive programs when they need it most, ensures they have a fair shot at success in the future. The FY2018 budget includes:
- Funding the next phase of the Homeward DC plan with $15.2 million, including $6.3 million for the Housing Authority;
- $8.1 million and $16.2 million for FY19 and beyond for TANF reforms beginning during FY18 to help ensure that basic child enrichment needs are met;
- Supplementing the Department of Health’s budget with $0.9 million to reduce the number of active opioid users, reduce overdoses and overdose fatalities, and improve health and economic outcomes for residents with a history of substance use;
- Funding the Alternatives to Court Experience (ACE) and Parent and Adolescent Support Services (PASS) programs with $3.3 million; and
- Providing $1 million for the Joyful Foods initiative.
Building a government that works for Washingtonians streamlines processes and improves efficiency. The FY2018 budget supports these improvements by:
- Ensuring that the District’s share of WMATA’s operating and capital subsidies are fully funded;
- Right-sizing DC’s snow budget with a $3.8 million budget increase;
- Expanding the Department of Public Works’ rush-hour towing, grounds maintenance, and leaf collection efforts by $3.2 million; and
- Allocating $1.5 million to the Office of the Chief Technology Officer for a District Continuity of Operations and Disaster Recovery Task Force which will evaluate District wide critical applications to prepare and test Disaster Recovery Plans.
To keep us on track to build a safer, stronger DC and to ensure that every Washingtonian is on a pathway to the middle class, the Bowser Administration will continue to make investments in all 8 wards ensuring every resident can share in our prosperity.
To view “DC Values in Action” FY2018 Budget and Financial Plan, click here.