WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Budget Autonomy Comes Closer To Reality

Play associated audio

An effort by District of Columbia residents to give the city government more control over its municipal budget is about to reach a milestone.

In April voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the District's Home Rule Charter that would allow city leaders to spend local tax revenue without approval by Congress.

The review period during which Congress could pass a resolution invalidating the budget autonomy referendum is expected to end this week. No such resolution has been introduced.

After the review period is over, the referendum's language will be added to the charter, though it doesn't take effect until next year—and there are still ways it could be overturned.

Last week a House committee approved a spending bill that cast doubt on the referendum's legality. “The Committee considers the recent referendum in the District as an expression of the opinion of the residents, only, and without any authority to change or alter the existing relationship between Federal appropriations and the District,” it said.

Kimberly Perry, executive director of DC Vote, one of the groups that pushed the referendum, says the group is "celebrating, but cautiously.''

A large part of the District's budget comes from locally raised tax dollars, though the federal government pays for the courts and certain education programs.

“The Committee considers the recent referendum in the District as an expression of the opinion of the residents, only, and without any authority to change or alter the existing relationship between Federal appropriations and the District,” she says.

NPR

Smithsonian Sets Phasers To Restore On Original Starship Enterprise

The Starship Enterprise — from the original Star Trek series — has gotten a restoration fit for a real life spacecraft. It goes on display this week at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
NPR

In Quest For Happier Chickens, Perdue Shifts How Birds Live And Die

Perdue Farms, one of the largest poultry companies in the country, says it will change its slaughter methods and also some of its poultry houses. Animal welfare groups are cheering.
WAMU 88.5

Jonathan Rauch On How American Politics Went Insane

Party insiders and backroom deals: One author on why we need to bring back old-time politics.

WAMU 88.5

Episode 5: Why 1986 Still Matters

In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.

Leave a Comment

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