When Mayor Bowser submitted a spending plan for 2016, she also proposed changes for this year that cut a number programs and services, including some affecting children. The cuts in the 2015 supplemental will continues next year, adding to the reductions proposed by the mayor for 2016.
While some of the reductions reflect savings that will not affect services – such as a lower amount needed for payments on the city’s debt – others will have real impacts. The DC Council should consider restoring the cuts that will have the greatest impacts, including:
• Healthy Tots – Nutrition Program for Young Children: The supplemental budget eliminates the new Healthy Tots program ($3.1 million), which was intended to improve the nutritional quality of meals and snacks at early education sites.
• Summer Programs at Parks and Rec: The 2015 supplemental budget eliminates a $1.75 million expansion of summer programs for children.
• Home health Aides: The budget reflects substantial savings from eliminating a number of fraudulent home health care agencies, many of which were serving no residents. While shutting down this fraud makes sense, some of the affected agencies were serving some eligible clients, and it is not clear what the District is doing to ensure they have adequate care.
As the DC Council reviews the mayor’s proposed 2016 budget, it also should keep in mind these cuts in 2015, which will also carry into 2016. The Council should work to restore them, at least in 2016, as part of its plan to build on the mayor’s budget.
The full supplemental budget plan can be found here.
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