For Immediate Release May 22, 2013 Contact: Dionne Johnson Calhoun (202) 724-8105 Grosso Reports FY 2014

Budget Requests Success Places First Vote for Vital Funding Needs for D.C. Washington, D.C. - Today, the D.C. Council held the 10th additional legislative meeting on the first reading of the FY 2014 Budget Support Act of 2013. Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large), released his top priorities for the budget after they were included through work on his six committees including: the Committee of the Whole; Education; Health; Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs; Finance and Revenue; and the Transportation and the Environment. His top priorities include: education, increased funds for rental assistance, his newly launched Safety First initiative, his environmental effort to improve our tree canopy, dedicated funding for the Arts, and language to bolster University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the Community College. "I am pleased to report success on all fronts," Grosso stated at the Committee of the Whole hearing. Grosso's Safety Initiative will make sure all speed cameras receive a camera-needs assessment and that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) places Traffic Control Officers at the top ten most dangerous intersections in the District. Grosso worked closely with the Committee of the Whole to craft language for the Community College to develop a plan for accreditation and recommended dedicated funding for arts and development of an arts economic development model in the District. Councilmember Grosso is also pleased with the increases in emergency rental assistance and local rent supplement, an approach he says, "Will keep our citizens from falling into homelessness." Grosso thanked the Chairman and his staff for crafting this budget while carefully balancing city-wide interests. He will continue working with his colleagues to advocate for and support his budget priorities through the second reading and vote on the budget next month.

Grosso's full list of FY 2014 Budget Priorities UDC Grosso was successful in getting the following language included in the FY 2014 Budget Support Act:

UDC shall create additional seats for community college experts to serve on the Community College Committee of the Board of Trustees, shall develop a plan to prepare the Community College for separate accreditation, and shall devote existing resources specifically for creation of a timeline for UDC-CC's compliance with Middle States Accreditation guidelines.

Safety First Initiative

With support from the Chair of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, the BSA included Grosso's provision to add new Traffic Control Officers to the top 10 most dangerous intersections in D.C. Councilmember Grosso looks forward to better reporting of safety performance by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) over the next year. Grosso was also successful in getting language included in the Budget Support Act that ensures that every automated speed camera at any location in the District of Columbia must receive a camera-needs assessment. The District Department of Transportation must report on safety factors at speed camera locations; if no safety needs exist, the Metropolitan Police Department must provide a justification for choosing that location. MPD justifications must be published on their website along with the safety implications.

Education

Supported the Committee to find the funding to reinstitute the Office of the Ombudsman within the State Board of Education which will be a great resource to assist families in navigating and staying engaged in their child's education. Supported investments in the Education budget to stabilize the budgets of schools affected by DCPS change in the threshold of a "small school." Also supported the funding to enhance programs and services at some of our District middle schools which is a critical point in terms of enrollment for DCPS. Supported the Mayor's recommendations to increase funding for our public libraries for extended hours, professional development, library renovations, and enhancements to the collection and services offered.

Housing and Homelessness Grosso advocated for and supported the following:
  

$875,000 Increase to Permanent Supportive Housing for families. $875,000 Increase to Permanent Supportive Housing for single adults. Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) assistance to non-disabled, non-senior single adults.

      

$1.75 million of new tenant-based Local Rent Supplement Program vouchers. $972,000 for chronically homeless seniors and homeless LBGTQ youth. $800,000 for emergency rental assistance for low-income families. $400,000 for a rapid rehousing pilot program for single adults. $2 million to the DC Housing Authority to help low-income District residents afford clean, safe, and stable permanent housing. $1.75 million to the Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program (also known as Housing First) for new PSH units for families and individuals. Age-in-Place and Equitable Senior Citizen Real Property and Relief Payment Plan which provides additional property tax relief to seniors so that they can afford to keep their homes in the District.

Arts Grosso advocated for and supported the following:
 

$22 million of incremental new sales tax revenue to create dedicated funding for the Commission on Arts and Humanities Act. $250,000 to create an economic development appendix to the Mayor's 2012 Economic Development plan.

###

Dionne Calhoun Communications Director & Community Affairs Councilmember At-Large David Grosso 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 406 Washington, D.C. 20004 (202) 724-8105