A key House committee has approved a bill that would grant a measure of budget autonomy to the District, the latest step in the city’s long-running effort to win the ability to spend its own money freely.
The bill, introduced Tuesday night by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), would amend the D.C. Home Rule Act to let the District spend its own taxpayer funds at the start of the fiscal year without congressional approval if Congress has not yet passed a spending bill approving the city’s budget. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Issa chairs, approved the bill Wednesday after just a few minutes of discussion.
The legislation would also let the city set its own fiscal calendar -- the District, like the federal government, currently starts its fiscal year Oct. 1, but states typically begin their fiscal year July 1 to make it easier to plan school budgets. And the measure would allow D.C. to boost pay for its Chief Financial Officer, as the city is in the midst of searching for a replacement to retiring CFO Natwar M. Gandhi.