Testimony of Jenny Reed, Policy Analyst, At the Public Roundtable on The Fiscal Year 2012 Revised Budget Request Emergency Adjustment Act of 2012

Chairman Brown and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Jenny Reed, and I am a policy analyst with the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. DCFPI engages in research and public education on the fiscal and economic health of the District of Columbia, with a particular emphasis on how policies impact low-and-moderate income families. 

I am here today to testify on the Mayor’s FY 2012 Supplemental Budget request, more specifically to ask several questions that the mayor’s supplemental budget proposal raises and suggest an alternative to the Council. 

Budgeting is not an exact science. Unexpected expenses occur over a fiscal year that cannot be anticipated, which makes it necessary to add and subtract funds to make the budget balanced.  From the information provided in the Mayor’s supplemental budget, the majority of these appear to be true spending pressures and amount to less than 1 percent of the District’s $6.4 billion local budget.  

However, we are concerned that only four months into Fiscal Year 2012, the Mayor’s proposed supplemental budget would use the entire $42.2 million of additional FY 2012 revenue projected by Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi.  This raises several important questions that the Council should consider:  

  1. Is this the full picture of the District’s spending pressures? Are there other spending pressures that are not being addressed in the Mayor’s proposed supplemental budget?
  2. How would using all of the additional FY 2012 revenue now, impact the District’s ability to address future spending pressures?
  3. How will this additional spending impact the budget gap already identified for FY 2013 and the remainder of the four-year financial plan?

To read the full testimony, click here.