Budget Chunks: Graham Disapproves Edition
Since there's a pile of budget information coming today, I'll just go piece by piece, hitting things in the Housing Complex world. Up first: The report from Councilmember Jim Graham's Committee on Human Services.
The committee outright disapproved of the Department of Human Services budget, which it says "will devastate the city and further spending pressures will ensue in various city services as a result of neglecting the basic needs of poor families, children and homeless adults." The report makes no recommendations for how the money ought to be found; disapproval means it will have to be reworked in the Committee of the Whole. Here are the report's major complaints:
- Cutting off Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding for people who've been receiving payments 60 months isn't fair without adequate support programs to help them transition off welfare.
- Eliminating Interim Disability Assistance payments for sick and old people waiting on Supplemental Security Income payments, to save $4 million, "creates a crisis for those in this population as they are either homeless or at risk for homelessness."
- The shortfall in the homeless services budget will close shelters outside of hypothermia season, putting 1,200 adults and 250 families on the street.
Graham also has jurisdiction over the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. His report makes the following tweaks to mayor Vincent Gray's proposed budget:
- The mayor's budget had cut funding for the Reimbursible Detail subsidy program, which funds half the cost of off-duty police officers for extra shifts at nightlife hotspots. The committee puts $540,000 back into the pot of money used for that purpose, but recommends that the program be scaled back from most nights of the week to "the wee hours of only Friday and Saturday nights."
- Graham is fine with increasing the mayor's proposal to tax on off-premises alcohol sales from nine percent to ten percent, which will raise $2.37 million in FY 2012, but disapproves of extending sales from 11:00 p.m. to midnight. Communities opposed the latter change, and the Washington Area Liquor Association said that liquor stores are more likely to get robbed later at night anyway.
More to come!
Photo by dbking/Creative Commons attribution license.