Washington, DC – Today, on the first day of the new fiscal year, Mayor Bowser began rolling out the investments made in her Fair Shot budget. In addition to these investments, the DC Government is processing cost of living adjustments (COLA) effective October 14, 2018. Non-union DC Government employees will receive a two percent increase; the amount for union employees will vary depending on approved negotiations.
“In fiscal year 2019, we’re going to continue building pathways to the middle class. We’re going to build on the programs we’ve put in place to give more Washingtonians the opportunity to participate in our city’s prosperity. And we’re going to create new opportunities that give more residents a fair shot,” said Mayor Bowser.
To ensure that people of all backgrounds and at all stages of life can live and thrive in Washington, DC, Mayor Bowser is making historic investments in affordable housing, homeownership programs, and housing preservation. These investments include her annual commitment of $100 million for the Housing Production Trust Fund and an additional $10 million for the Housing Preservation Fund. The Mayor also committed to moving forward the promised New Communities Initiative by investing $55 million in capital funds.
Education and Early Child Care
Building on Mayor Bowser’s FY18 $11 million investment in affordable, high-quality child care, this budget includes $12.5 million to create even more seats for infant and toddlers. The FY19 budget increases the child care subsidy by $10 million to provide quality, affordable care to more children and creates a child care tax credit of up to $1,000 per child enrolled in any licensed DC child care facility.
The Mayor’s education investments also include a $94 million increase in funding for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools, including a 3.91 percent increase to the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula and a 2.2 percent increase in the charter schools facility allotment. The FY19 budget also ensures more young people have access to opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive outside of the normal school day. To accomplish this, the budget includes $15 million to increase access to out-of-school time opportunities for 27,000 youth.
Coming into office, Mayor Bowser set forth a bold vision to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring. This fall, the Administration is making good on the Mayor’s commitment to close DC General once and for all and replace it with smaller, more dignified programs across all eight wards. The FY19 budget includes $16.8 million to provide permanent supportive housing and other support services to single adults experiencing homelessness, $10.75 million for families, and $4.6 million for youth, including LGBTQ families and individuals experiencing homelessness.
Transportation and Infrastructure
Mayor Bowser led a successful regional effort to finally provide Metro with the dedicated funding it needs to get back to a state of good repair, and the FY19 budget is the first to include the District’s $178.5 million contribution. In addition to funding Metro, the budget includes $232 million for streetscapes, trails, trees, green space, and streetlights as well as $450 million to repair the District’s roads, sidewalks, and alleys. These funds will support the Bowser Administration’s work to eliminate all roads in poor condition.
The Bowser Administration continues to focus on ensuring Washington, DC remains affordable for seniors and residents at all stages of life. This fiscal year, the Mayor cut in half how much seniors’ property taxes can go up so that if they qualify for the District’s reduced property tax rate, their property taxes will not go up by more than 5 percent a year. In addition, the Administration is making it possible for more residents to age safely in their own homes and communities with a $4.5 million investment in the Safe at Home program, which provides security cameras and preventative, in-home adaptations to seniors’ homes to reduce the risk of falls.
In August, the Bowser Administration signed a Letter of Intent with The George Washington University Hospital (GW Hospital) to improve access to high quality healthcare services for Washingtonians, specifically for residents living in Wards 7 and 8. The District has a budget of over $300 million in capital for the construction of a new hospital, including the construction of a parking garage.
Maternal and Infant Health
In FY19, the Bowser Administration is investing $1.6 million for perinatal health and the BABIES bill (Better Access for Babies to Integrated Equitable Services Act of 2018) to reinforce the goal of providing high-quality services for pregnant women, mothers, and newborns. These investments build on momentum from the Mayor’s Maternal and Infant Health Summit and the growing public awareness and interest in this important issue. The District’s approach focuses on three key strategies: improving women’s health before pregnancy; addressing barriers to prenatal care; and preventing preterm births.
The Fair Shot budget builds on Mayor Bowser’s efforts to build a safer, stronger DC. The budget includes a $1.7 million investment in the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Cadet Program, allowing the program to expand from 70 participants to 100. The cadet program ensures more DC residents become MPD officers. A $1.5 million investment in community-based grants for violence interruption and $575,000 for the Pathways program to support 50 at-risk youth will expand the reach of the new Safer Stronger Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement.
Other public safety investments include:
- $900,000 to expand the Immigrant Justice Legal Services grant program which defends the rights of immigrant residents through informational programs and direct legal aid;
- $11 million to continue funding for third-party ambulance services;
- $3.8 million to hire 65 additional correctional officers at the Department of Corrections;
- $2.4 million to hire 42 new dual-role firefighter/paramedics;
- $22 million in capital investments in FY19 and $76.4 million through the six-year capital improvements plan (CIP) for the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department for emergency vehicles and apparatus;
- $440,000 for trauma-informed responses for victims of crime, justice involved individuals, and youth at risk for truancy and juvenile delinquency; and
- $500,000 increase for the Private Security Camera Program .
Mayor Bowser’s investments also focus on making sure Washingtonians have the skills and knowledge they need to fill the jobs our city’s growth is creating. In FY19, the Mayor invested $8.2 million in Great Streets and the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund to support business development in high-unemployment areas. Other key investments include $150,000 to expand assistance to returning citizens to start their own businesses through ASPIRE and $2 million for IT apprenticeships to provide pathways to the middle class in high-tech industries.
The momentum for statehood is at an all-time high. The Washington, DC Admission Act has secured a historic 174 co-sponsors in the House and 29 in the Senate. In FY18, the Mayor proposed almost $1 million in new funding for statehood efforts, which funded the District’s first-ever statehood office and Statehood Director. In FY19, an additional nearly $1 million in funding was secured for statehood education efforts. To learn more about DC statehood and join our efforts please visit statehood.dc.gov.