Tomorrow, April 1st, Mayor Gray will release his proposed FY 2012 budget. Here, District Dime readers, are some important dates and resources to help you get a handle on the upcoming budget season, including a DCFPI-sponsored budget overview presentation on Friday April 8 (more details to follow).
The Budget Is Released
Press Conference, Friday April 1: The Mayor typically holds a press conference to release the budget. As of “print” time, it had not been announced, but it is likely to be Friday morning. DCFPI will be there, tweeting the details as they become available.
Mayor’s Budget Briefings Around Town: Mayor Gray plans to hold budget forums in each ward of the District. We will be sure to share the details when they become available.
Budget Documents: These will likely be available online on Friday, April 1 or within a few days. There are two main places to look:
- The CFO’s website, where you will find the proposed 2012 budget , as well as budgets for 2011 and prior years
- The Mayor’s budget website, http://www.budget.dc.gov (note: this site won’t be live until around mid-day on April 1st) should have links to all of the proposed FY 2012 budget documents, including the “Budget Support Act”, an often overlooked, but critical, budget document. The budget support act is the legislation that includes all of the statutory changes reflected in the budget, such as changes to the DC public schools per-pupil formula or changes to taxes or fees. We encourage District Dime readers to take a careful look through the budget support act because it often includes major policy initiatives.
The DC Council Conducts Its Budget Oversight Process & Votes on the FY 2012 Budget
Council Initial Budget Review Hearing: On April 6th, the DC Council will kick off the budget oversight process with a hearing in which the Mayor, Chief Financial Officer, City Administrator and Budget Director will be invited to testify and answer questions about the just-submitted budget. While the hearing does not include public witnesses, it is a good way to learn more details about the FY 2012 budget.
Committee Budget Hearings: From April 7th-May 6th each committee of the DC Council will conduct budget oversight hearings for the DC agencies they oversee. The public is invited to testify at these hearings, making them a great time to advocate for programs and services you care about. The detailed schedule of hearings can be found here.
Council Vote on the Budget: On May 24th, the DC Council will take the lone vote on the budget, and the first vote on the budget support act. The second vote on the budget support act is set for June 7th.
Resources to help you understand what is in the FY 2012 Budget
DCFPI Presentation on the FY 2012 Budget and Budget Process: On Friday April 8th, DCFPI will hold a presentation to highlight the key issues in the Mayor’s proposed budget and to walk through elements of the Council budget process, featuring speakers from the DC Council staff on budget advocacy tips. Stay tuned for more details.
DCFPI’s Budget Toolkit: The FY 2012 toolkit will contain an overview of the FY 2012 budget, detailed budget analyses in key issue areas (such as housing and child care) and a massive budget spreadsheet that tracks funding from FY 2000 – FY 2012 so you can make your own budget comparisons. Our “first glance at the budget” will be available the week of April 4, with most other analyses available within two weeks. Check out DCFPI’s website for more details.
Budget Briefings with DC Government Agencies: DCFPI and other nonprofits are working with a number of DC agencies to hold briefings on their FY 2012 proposed budget. These briefings give the public a chance to hear directly from the agency directors and their senior staff about the key changes to their budget for 2012. Here are the briefings scheduled so far. We will be sure to let readers know as soon as other dates have been set.
- Department of Mental Health, hosted by the DC Behavioral Health Association. Thursday April 7th, 9:30-11am. Petworth Public Library (4200 Kansas Ave NW). Seating is limited, so please RSVP to reserve your space.
- Department of Disability Services, co-hosted by the Arc of the District of Columbia and DCFPI. Thursday April 7th, 3:30-5:30pm. True Reformer Building, 1200 U Street, NW. An RSVP is preferred, but not required. RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-636-2963.
- Child and Family Services Agency, Monday April 11th, 4-6pm at CFSA, 400 6th Street, SW, Room 5133
- District Department of the Environment, Thursday, April 14th, 10:00am-12:00pm at DDOE, 1200 First Street, NE, Conference Room 718.
As always, feel free to contact any of us at DCFPI with any questions on the DC budget or budget process.