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Back to Mayor’s main pageTestimony on budgetPress briefing on budgetFinancial Plan

Mayor Williams Outlines FY 2000 Budget
March 15, 1999




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“Budget Tackles Difficult Issues Head-on and Will Help Determine Whether Washington, D. C. Succeeds or Fails,” Mayor says.

Mayor Anthony Williams presented a detailed budget for FY 2000 today that he said will allow District of Columbia government to take existing resources and expand the government's ability to deliver services in the long- and short-term.

The Budget and Financial Plan is in compliance with the mandate to budget for a $150 million reserve and a separate budget that reflects Mayor Williams' vision for a more efficient and effective government with a major commitment to children, education, health care and neighborhood revitalization.

Under Mayor Williams' proposal, the budget sets out aggressive policy goals for the city's children, its schools, healthcare and its neighborhoods. It provides new investments Washington, D.C.'s citizens want and deserve. In order to meet these goals without exposing the District to the danger of another financial collapse, Mayor Williams is advocating a smaller, more efficient government.

Mayor Williams said Washington, D.C. is in a service crisis and is proposing immediate remedies for what ails the city.

"Since coming into office, we've found the same level of dysfunction throughout the government that existed in the CFO's organization," Mayor Williams told Financial Authority Chairwoman Alice Rivlin in a March l 5 letter. "The now famous tax file room is emblematic of conditions throughout our government. We must take decisive steps NOW to rebuild our government from the ground up. Anything less would be merely playing in the margins."

"The time has come for us to make the crucial decisions that will put us in a competitive position in the next millennium — decisions about what the government can and cannot do, should and should not do.

Decisions that will determine, to a large extent, whether our city ultimately succeeds or fails. This budget takes those tough decisions head on. It will put the District on a path to a stable future, ensuring for years to come that Washington will be a source of pride for all Americans. Most importantly, it strengthens our investment in critical areas such as supporting children, improving government services, rebuilding the human services network and expanding the economy."

CHILDREN: This budget makes a historic investment in children, creating a $33 million fund for out-of-school programs and devotes an additional $21.3 million for new and expanded programs to benefit youth. The Child and Youth Investment Partnership is a public-private venture with the goal of creating a seamless web of high quality services and challenging opportunities to promote the healthy development of the city's young people through a network of nurturing families, caring neighborhoods and safe, enriching centers of learning in and out of school.

The $21.3 million will be spent on capital improvements and operating expenditures in District agencies whose mission it is to provide services for children, youth and families. For example, the money will improve foster care and child welfare transition and bring the foster care function back under District control. Mayor Williams plans to increase payments to foster parents, improve the retention of social workers and implement management reforms to speed the process of getting foster children into permanent homes.

Mayor Williams wants to use $13.5 million in new childcare subsidies, which translates into subsidized care for almost 2,000 more children and increased childcare subsidy rates

The education component of Mayor Williams' budget makes a strategic investment in modernizing classrooms, hiring and retaining good teachers and expanding opportunities for higher education.

Also included in the package is funding for improving the city crumbling schools and provide structures where bathrooms work, classrooms are warm in the winter and cool in the summer and where roofs don't leak. The goal is to place children in a safe, clean and effective learning environment. That will be brought about with a massive investment in schools.

HIGHER EDUCATION: Mayor Williams is committed to rebuilding the University of the District of Columbia into a high-quality institution. He has proposed moving the campus from its present location east of the River so is can fulfill its educational mission at a reduced cost. He plans to invest $5 million as seed money for UDC's endowment; capitalize the assets of UDC in order to have more resources available to further the university's mission; is intent on finding ways to provide dedicated revenue streams to enhance the university's long-term stability; use the move as an economic stimulus for the Anacostia area and thus, position the university closer to its potential graduates in the District and Maryland.

Mayor Williams has a detailed plan to improve government services, including workforce compensation and productivity. He is proposing pay parity to enhance morale and improve productivity, a 3.8 percent pay raise in FY 2000 and a 2.2 percent performance bonus fund for non-union District employees.

"In addition to addressing pay parity, I propose a gainsharing initiative for certain programs that have measurable outcomes," Mayor Williams said. "When employees reduce costs through re-engineering or other means and increase productivity, they are awarded a bonus for their efforts. By working with unions, we can use gainsharing initiatives to improve services and reduce costs.

FINANCIAL STABILITY: The Mayor also believes that the city must invest its resources wisely and continue to build on its recent financial progress. In this way, the District can ensure support service delivery and financial prosperity.

A Small Business Tax Relief of $66.7 million in the first year is seen as a way to provide tax relief for small businesses. The budget seeks to vastly upgrade the District's ability to address key neighborhood issues including jobs, affordable housing and clean streets.

Capital Finance strategies are another tool Mayor Williams plans to use to improve the city's financial fortunes. Financial management targets for the District, for example, are helping maintain a positive fund balance, reducing the debt burden, restructuring long term debt and obligations and improving the District's credit rating.

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