Washington, DC – Senator Susan Collins, Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs which has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, today introduced legislation giving Washington, D.C. more power over the city’s local budget. Senator Collins introduced the District of Columbia Budget Autonomy Act of 2005 and the District of Columbia Independence of the Chief Financial Officer Act of 2005, which would provide the District of Columbia with more autonomy over its local budget and make permanent the authority of the D.C. Chief Financial Officer. The bill is being cosponsored by the Committee’s Ranking Member, Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
“Providing the District of Columbia with more autonomy over its local budget will help the Mayor and the Council of the District of Columbia better manage and run the city. The current system requires DC to submit its budget through the Federal appropriations process that is often riddled with delays. The District of Columbia Budget Autonomy Act of 2005 would address these problems by authorizing the local government to pass its own budget each year,” Senator Collins said. “The District of Columbia Independence of the Chief Financial Officer Act of 2005 would make permanent the authority of the District of Columbia CFO. Ensuring continued financial accountability of the D.C. government is crucial for the fiscal stability of the city. The CFO has played a significant role in maintaining this stability. While providing the District with more autonomy over its budgets, it is also important that the CFO’s authority is made permanent and that its role is clear.”