WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Analysis: D.C. Lawmakers Debate Future Of City's Surplus

Play associated audio

D.C. lawmakers wrangle over what to do with a budget surplus and Virginia's general assembly considers the governor's proposal to do away with the state gas tax. Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney talks about the details.

On D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray wanting to hold on to the city's $417 million surplus for reserve savings: "Gray hasn't gotten a lot of attention about this, but he's pursued a very cautious policy on the budget. He's sticking to that now. He's putting in reserves... this healthy budget surplus of $417 million from the last fiscal year. They got this surplus because the District's finances are doing quite well right now. That's partly because the city is attracting young people with relatively good salaries. They're moving to the District and paying taxes. Gray's proposal is making social services advocates unhappy. They're saying why put this market in the reserves and make the bond markets happy, when people can't afford rents and mothers are struggling to support their families. Mayor Marion Barry says he's going to push the council to increase the social services spending. But it's not clear he's going to have the votes."

On whether Virginia's transportation package is a done deal: "No, it does not [mean it's a done deal]. It's misleading that those committees passed the bill, because the real battle is going to be on the floor of the two chambers, and especially in the Senate. Right now, there is not enough support in the Senate, even from some Republicans, to pass McDonnell's proposal, which would abolish gasoline tax, but raise sales taxes and fees in order to raise money on transportation."

Listen to the full analysis here.


From Trembling Teacher To Seasoned Mentor: How Tim Gunn Made It Work

Gunn, the mentor to young designers on Project Runway, has been a teacher and educator for decades. But he spent his childhood "absolutely hating, hating, hating, hating school," he says.

How Do We Get To Love At 'First Bite'?

It's the season of food, and British food writer Bee Wilson has a book on how our food tastes are formed. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with her about her new book, "First Bite: How We Learn to Eat."

Osceola At The 50-Yard Line

The Seminole Tribe of Florida works with Florida State University to ensure it that its football team accurately presents Seminole traditions and imagery.

Reviving Payoff For Prediction – Of Terrorism Risk

Could an electronic market where people bet on the likelihood of attacks deter terrorism? NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about the potential for a terror prediction market.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.