Contrary to Wayne C. Witkowski and Leonard H. Becker’s assertions on this page last week [“An unlawful proposal for D.C. budget autonomy,” Local Opinions, Oct. 28], there are substantial bases to conclude that the Home Rule Act can be amended via referendum to give the District autonomy over its local budget. And regardless of the outcome, a vote on budget autonomy would be an important step forward in the District’s fight for self-determination and should be vigorously pursued.
The two relevant provisions of the Home Rule Act are Sections 446 and 303. Section 446 outlines the District’s budget process and prohibits the District government from spending local funds before Congress enacts affirmative legislation approving the local budget. Section 303 gives the District broad authority to amend the Home Rule Charter, but it lists certain subjects as off-limits and excepts from amendment any “act, resolution, or rule under the limitations” on the D.C. Council’s authority in Sections 601 through 603.