City officials are doing their part to help save Washington DC government jobs by working to balance the upcoming budget, but not all positions will be spared.
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty recently submitted his plan to close the projected $453 million budget gap this year and next year’s projected $150 million budget gap. During June, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer predicted the city could face additional budget deficits.
“My administration has taken action to address the District’s deficit, exploring all possible options,” Fenty said. “Our proposed plan not only balances the budget but also protects critical services for District residents.”
Even though the District of Columbia’s budget-balancing measures will help the District save some money, therefore saving several positions, it also will include the elimination of 250 government positions.
The proposed plan to resolve this year’s projected revenue shortfall includes:
Fund Balance: The plan reallocates $138 million from the city’s fund balance. The fund balance is composed of revenue that has not been spent in prior years, including special-purpose funding from fees and other revenues collected by the government and dedicated taxes. The plan converts an additional $14 million of dedicated taxes to the Local fund to close the gap.
Stimulus: Fenty’s proposed plan accounts for $152 million in stimulus funding for state fiscal stabilization and increased federal Medicaid reimbursement rates available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Contingency Reserve Fund (Rainy Day fund): Using $125 of the $330 million fund will minimize the need for spending cuts or tax increases. The fund was created specifically for unforeseen revenue shortfalls similar to what the District is currently facing.
Reduced Agency Spending: D.C. agencies were asked to find ways to reduce budgets to address previous revenue shortfalls, resulting in savings of $14 million. This also includes another $10 million on debt services for interest for bonds.
This year’s proposal also adjusts spending to fit within projected resources for then next fiscal year.
The projected plan to close next year’s budget gap includes:
Additional Stimulus: The District will use $36 million of ARRA funding to maintain the level of per-student spending for the District of Columbia Public Schools and Public Charter Schools. The stimulus fund for education was created to protect education services from any cuts that would be caused by the downtown in the economy.
Agency Savings: Agency directors scrubbed their budgets for savings from program efficiencies that would lead to long-term savings. Without making across-the-board reductions, agencies identified $110 million in savings, including about 250 position eliminations.
Convert dedicated tax and special purpose funds to General Funds: The plan transfers $57 million of dedicated taxes and special purpose revenues to the Local fund to close the gap.
Sale of District asset: $6 million
Fund Balance: $4 million