New changes comes as the new year arrive in the District of Columbia.
Effective January 1, 2014, city government leaders are now able to spend local tax dollars without waiting for Congress to give them permission.
You may recall that budget autonomy was a big issue during the partial federal government shutdown. The shutdown had prevented D.C.'s government from spending local tax dollars and it had to run on emergency funds.
Part of H.R. 345, the House Bill related to this decision states:
Section 602(c) of such Act (sec. 1–206.02(c), D.C. Official Code) is amended—
(1) in the second sentence of paragraph (1), by striking paragraph (2) and inserting paragraphs (2) and (4); and
(2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
(4) In the case of any Act adopting the annual budget for the District of Columbia government for fiscal year 2014 or any succeeding fiscal year which is not a control year, such Act shall take effect upon the date prescribed by such Act.
In a DC Vote press release a organization representative remarked, "A new DC budget law that was initiated by a ballot referendum to amend DC's home rule charter backed by 83 percent of District voters went into effect at midnight, January 1, 2014.
"The new law modifies the District's budget process by allowing the District government to appropriate and spend local tax dollars, without having to wait for enactment of a federal DC spending bill."