Today, the Council of the District of Columbia unanimously approved Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2016 spending plan, the District’s 20th consecutive balanced budget, with only minor changes. The Mayor issued the following statement:
“Residents elected me Mayor of my hometown last year to deliver a fresh start and with my first budget that is exactly what we have done. With a focus on ensuring all of our residents share in our prosperity, our budget will create pathways for the middle class in all eight wards. Put simply: the budget the Council voted on today fulfills our key priorities, thus is a win for District residents.
“While no budget is perfect, this one makes historic investments in important areas that create opportunities, including a downpayment on ending homelessness, a $100 million investment in the Housing Production Trust Fund, and continuing strong investments in our schools, job training, public safety, transportation and infrastructure. These investments will expand opportunities for District residents and help ensure we are leaving the next generation of Washingtonians with an even greater city.
“Just yesterday, I signed legislation expanding the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) to include youth ages 22-24 for the first time ever. Today, the Council failed to fund this vital program in the next fiscal year. I will work with this year’s class of SYEP participants to ensure it is a success and then we will redouble our efforts to expand the program for other young Washingtonians in need of a hand up, not a hand out.
“While expanded parking hours, increased parking penalties, and other business taxes were not my choice, these revenue raises were unanimously supported by the Council.
“I look forward to signing the budget into law and working with members of the Council to implement the FY 2016 budget in a thoughtful, responsible way.”