Investments Build on the District’s Growth and Prosperity to Give More Washingtonians a Fair Shot
Mayor Muriel Bowser recently presented “A Fair Shot,” the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) Budget and Financial Plan, to the Council of the District of Columbia as part of the District’s annual budget process. The $14.5 billion budget proposal includes investments in infrastructure, education, affordable housing, health and human services, economic opportunity, seniors, and public safety.
“This budget is about giving more Washingtonians a fair shot,” said Mayor Bowser. “From investing in tax credits that make child care more affordable to expanding programs that allow seniors to age in place, the Fair Shot budget will do more to make Washington, DC a place where people of all backgrounds and in all stages of life are able to live and thrive.”
Investments in the budget reflect feedback gathered from residents during the Mayor’s annual budget engagement forums as well as senior and DC Government employee telephone town halls, agency budget recommendations, and mayoral programmatic recommendations. The FY2019 Budget marks the District’s 23rd consecutive balanced budget and includes funding for the District’s landmark agreements with the Washington Teachers Union and Compensation Units 1 and 2.
Proposed infrastructure investments include fully funding the District’s Metro commitment at $178.5 million in dedicated annual revenue. These funds represent the District’s portion of a $500 million regional commitment with Virginia and Maryland. The FY2019 also makes substantial investments in transit beyond Metro, including $430 million to fix roads, sidewalks, and alleys.
Additionally, the budget will support efforts to build a safer, stronger, healthier, and more sustainable DC through the six-year capital plan. The capital plan includes $300 million to support a new state-of-the-art hospital at St. Elizabeths; $291 million for recreation centers, swimming pools, and park improvements; $78.9 million for tree planting and green space; and $68.5 million for the cleanup of both the Anacostia River and the former Kenilworth landfill site.
Education investments include a $94 million increase in funding for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools , including a 3.91 percent increase to the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula and a 2.2 percent increase in the charter schools facility allotment. The budget also includes $12.5 million in investments to make early child care more affordable for all District residents, with $2.5 million to fund early learning tax credits and $10 million to increase District payments to local childcare providers to ensure that they stay open and can create new child care slots for our infants and toddlers. Out-of-school time programming is supported with over $9.6 million in increased funding for a total investment of $19.2 million. New this year, is $4.4 million in “Targeted Stabilization” funding that provides support to 20 DCPS schools that would have otherwise experienced a reduction in funding from a loss in enrollment and/or a shift in programming at these schools.
The FY2019 budget continues the Mayor’s commitment to investing in the District’s educational facilities with more than $1.3 billion allocated to continued school modernizations, reaching an additional 31 schools over the next six years. And as committed during the state of the District, the FY2019 proposal includes a $132 million investment in the University of the District of Columbia through the Capital Improvement Program.
Other education investments include:
- Fully funding implementation of the Enhanced Special Education Services Act of 2014;
- $1 million for field trips for schoolchildren to go to art exhibits and performances and $1 million in cultural study-abroad experiences for public school students;
- $63.2 million for the DC Public Library; and
$87 million for programs and services at the University of the District of Columbia and the UDC Community College, in addition to a $132 million in capital investments over the next six years for UDC to make campus improvements.
Mayor Bowser continues her annual commitment of a $100 million contribution to the Housing Production Trust Fund and, for the second year in a row, extended her commitment to include $10 million toward the Housing Preservation Trust Fund which will help maximize the District’s ability to preserve existing affordable units. The Mayor’s budget proposal also includes a $10 million increase for the Home Purchase Assistance Program and Employer Assistance Housing Program, putting homeownership in reach for more District residents and DC Government employees.
Other housing investments include:
- $96 million to subsidize affordable housing through the District of Columbia Housing Authority; and
- $57 million for the New Communities Initiatives at Park Morton, Barry Farm, and Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings.
Health and Human Services
The FY2019 budget reflects the Bowser Administration’s ongoing commitment to making homelessness in DC rare, brief, and nonrecurring. The budget includes $23 million in new money toward achieving the goals of HomewardDC, and commits $40 million to the construction of a replacement facility for 801 East. This investment includes $9.5 million to provide permanent support housing and other support services to singles who experience homelessness, $10.5 million to support families who experience homelessness, and $3.1 million to support youth experiencing homelessness. The budget also provides $2.5 million to expand homeless crisis service response systems for single adults.
The budget also includes $1.6 million to fund the Better Access for Babies to Integrate Equitable Access to Services Act of 2018, or the B.A.B.I.E.S bill, which will ensure every pregnant woman receives patient-centered, high-quality pre-natal care and every newborn receives high-quality neonatal care in the hospital and outpatient setting.
Other investments in health and human services include:
$1.4 million to fund the Parental and Adolescent Support Services (PASS) and Strengthening Teens and Enriching Parents (STEP) programs;
- $4.4 million to provide 40 hours each week of nursing suite coverage for each school;
- $3 million for increased school-based mental health services for public school students;
- $1.1 million to implement a local individual mandate to keep the Affordable Care Act protections strong in Washington, DC; and
- $1.4 million for additional rat abatement efforts at the Department of Health at $500,000 for trash compactor grants through the Department of Small and Local Business Development.
Building a more affordable city means ensuring more residents have the resources, training, and supports they need to secure good-paying jobs, so the FY2019 budget includes a wide-range of investments that will make the District’s prosperity more inclusive. This budget continues the Administration’s investment in the newly opened DC Infrastructure Academy with an additional $2 million to provide training in one of our fastest growing fields – IT infrastructure.
The Mayor has also allocated $6 million and has called on DC Water to provide $6 million, for a total of $12 million, to provide relief for residents, non-profits, and religious institutions negatively impacted by the Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge.
Other economic opportunity investments include:
- $1 million for three new Clean Teams and three new Main Streets;
- $8.3 million in our Great Streets and Neighborhood Prosperity Fund to support business development across the city; and
$14.3 million for the Commission on Arts and Humanities for capital grants to support renovations and repairs at our arts facilities, operating grants to support program development and operations, and funds for a new statue to honor a notable Washingtonian.
Seniors remain a top priority in the FY2019 budget. Mayor Bowser has included a provision that reduces property taxes for eligible seniors, ensuring more seniors are able to age in place in Washington, DC. The budget includes a $4.5 million investment in Safe at Home, the Mayor’s initiative to provide much-needed safety adaptions in and around the homes of qualifying seniors and adults with disabilities. An additional $2 million is provided for Transport DC, which helps seniors and persons with disabilities move around the city.
Other senior investments include:
$1.5 million to expand the capacity and parking at our Model Cities senior wellness center in Ward 5 and our Congress Heights Senior wellness center in Ward 8;
- $11.4 million to build a new senior wellness center in Ward 8; and
- $28 million for 50 new permanent supportive housing units for senior women.
The Fair Shot budget builds on Mayor Bowser’s efforts to build a safer, stronger DC. The budget includes a $1.7 million investment in the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Cadet Program, allowing the program to expand from 70 participants to 100. The cadet program ensures more DC residents become MPD officers.
With an investment of $1.5 million for community-based grants for violence interruption and $575,000 for the Pathways program to support 50 at-risk youth, this budget will expand the reach of the new Safer Stronger Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement.
Other public safety investments include:
- $900,000 to expand the Immigrant Justice Legal Services grant program which defends the rights of immigrant residents through informational programs and direct legal aid;
- $11 million to continue funding for third-party ambulance services;
- $4.6 million to hire 80 additional correctional officers at the Department of Corrections;
- $2.4 million to hire 42 new dual-role firefighter/paramedics;
- $22 million in capital investments in FY2019 and $76.4 million through the six-year capital improvements plan (CIP) for the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department for emergency vehicles and apparatus; and
- $4.7 million in capital investments in FY2019 and $36 million through the six-year CIP for MPD vehicles.