This is an important time in the development of DC budget for fiscal year 2017. Each Council committee has completed budget oversight hearings on the proposed budget for the DC government agencies they oversee.
Now the Committees are making changes to the Budget. Budget mark-ups are the first sign of how the Council wants to modify the mayor’s budget – perhaps taking up recommendations the public and service providers have made. There will be other chances to influence the budget before the vote on May 17.
Each committee drafts a budget report and holds a mark-up meeting to vote on it. The committee reports do the following:
- Make budget changes. A committee can cut one program to fund another, or it can find budget savings and then reallocate them. The ability to shift resources is somewhat limited, since committees cannot spend more than the total they received in the mayor’s proposed budget.
- Give money away! Sometimes committees find savings in the agencies they oversee and put those savings in an agency overseen by another committee. In recent years, for example, the Transportation Committee devoted some of its resources to homeless services.
- Recommend policy changes. The committees also offer comments on the legislative changes in the mayor’s Budget Support Act. For example, does the committee like a proposed new reporting requirement, or changes in how unemployment insurance is provided? The committee’s comments on such things are generally seen as advisory, and will be considered by the full DC Council as it finishes budget work.The needs of the District's most vulnerable older adults are not being met. Therefore we request that DCOA funding be restored to FY 16 levels. Please ask your Councilmember to urge Chairman Mendelson to restore the Mayor’s proposed Budget to FY 2016 funding levels for the DCOA.
The mark-ups are not the end of the budget process, though. The full Council budget vote will be on May 17, the Council will gather to deliberate on the issues raised by each committee. Please ask your Councilmember to urge Chairman Mendelson to restore the Mayor’s proposed budget to FY 2016 funding levels for the DC Office of Aging (DCOA). The Senior Advisory Coalition, of which AARPDC is a member, identified the need for additional funding for case management, nutrition and transportation services for seniors in the District. Service providers need these funds to meet the demand for services by seniors in the District. Unfortunately, the Mayor's proposed 2017 budget does not provide adequate funding to address the demand for senior services and it proposes an over $700,000 decrease in the Office on Aging budget.