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Friday, August 17, 2012

FY2013 Appropriations: District of Columbia

Eugene Boyd
Analyst in Federalism and Economic Development Policy

On February 13, 2012, the Obama Administration released its detailed budget request for FY2013. The Administration’s proposed budget includes $677.8 million in special federal payments to the District of Columbia, which is $12.2 million more than the District’s FY2012 appropriation of $665.6 million in special federal paymens. Approximately 78% ($526.7 million) of the President’s proposed budget request for the District would be targeted to the courts and criminal justice system. The President’s budget request also includes $95.6 million in support of education initiatives. This represents 14% of the Administration’s federal payment budget request for the District of Columbia.

On May 15, 2012, the District of Columbia Council approved a FY2013 budget that included $11.4 billion in operating funds and $1.1 billion in capital outlays. The mayor signed the measure (A19-0381) on June 15, 2012. Included in the act was a provision that would grant the District some level of budget autonomy in the expenditure of local funds, if Congress failed to pass and the President failed sign a District of Columbia appropriations act before the beginning of the 2013 fiscal year.

On June 14, 2012, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported S. 3301, its version of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for FY2013, with an accompanying report (S.Rept. 112-177). As reported, the bill recommended $676.2 million in special federal payments to the District. This is $10.6 million more than appropriated for FY2012, and $1.6 million less than requested by the Administration. On June 26, 2012, a House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2013, H.R. 6020, with an accompanying report (H.Rept. 112- 550). The bill includes $673.7 million in special federal payments to the District. This is $8.1 million more than appropriated for FY2012, $4.1 million less than requested by the Administration, and $2.5 million less than recommended by the Senate bill.

The Senate bill, S. 3301, includes changes in two provisions that city officials have sought to eliminate or modify. The bill would lift the prohibition on the use of District funds to provide abortion services, but would continue the prohibition against the use of federal funds. The House bill would restrict the use of District and federal funds for abortion services to instances involving rape, incest, or a health threat to the life of the pregnant woman. Both the House and Senate bills would continue to prohibit the use of federal funds to regulate and decriminalize the medical use of marijuana. Both the House and the Senate bills would provide funding for a school voucher program, which was not funded in FY2012. The private school voucher program is opposed by some city leaders, but supported by others. The Administration did not include funding for school vouchers in its budget submission to Congress.

Date of Report: August 10, 2012
Number of Pages: 16
Order Number: R42657
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