Mayor Muriel Bowser – 2019 State of the District Address – March 18, 2019

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Season

Budget season officially began Monday, March 18, 2019, with Mayor Muriel Bowser giving her 2019 State of the District Address reflecting on her accomplishments over the past four years and sharing her vision for the future for the District of Columbia. The Mayor’s address also gave residents a preview of her priorities for the next four years and what to expect in her proposed budget and financial plan due to be released this week. To read the Mayor’s full address use this link:

Some highlights include:

  • No revenue growth for the District, due to a cooling economy and a federal government shutdown that lasted 35 days costing DC $47million in lost revenue.
  • Calling upon the Council to move up the Democratic 2020 primary from June to April.
  • A commitment to building a new state of the art medical facility for Veterans.
  • Establishing 25 Opportunity Zones 18 of which will be established in Wards 7 and 8 to grow housing, jobs and amenities.
  • Investing $4.6million to schools for new technology that will ensure all third graders, sixth graders, and ninth graders have access to a new laptop or tablet.
  • Providing funding for UDC to acquire 4250 Connecticut Ave NW.
  • Making the Early Learning Tax Credit, which she first introduced last year, permanent. The ELTC gives families a credit of up to $1000 per child enrolled in a childcare center in the city.
  • Raising the wages of youth participating in the Summer Youth Employment Program.
  • July 1, 2019, the minimum wage will increase to $14 per hour.
  • Eliminating sales tax on diapers (funding a dormant law).
  • Permanently eliminating the Circulator bus $1 fare.
  • Investing $122million in a dedicated bus lane on K St as part of transportation safety.
  • Increasing investment in the Safe at Home program by $2million.
  • Increasing the tax on commercial property transactions above $2million. Revenues from the increase – $55m new dollars will be allocated for housing, including a $30m boost to the housing production trust fund a new $20m “workforce housing” fund.
  • Increasing immigrant legal grant program from $900k to $2.5m.

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Timeline
On Friday, March 22, 2019, the Mayor will brief the DC Council on her Fiscal Year 2020 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan. The entire budget oversight schedule by Council Committee and agency can be accessed using this link:

Below is a general timeline of the next two months.

March 20
Mayor Releases Fiscal Year 2020 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan
March 22
Committee of the Whole Public Briefing on the Mayor’s FY20 Proposed Budget
March 25 to April 25
DC Government Agency Budget Oversight Hearings
April 26
Committee of the Whole Hearing on Budget Request Act and the Budget Support Act which includes legislation for any budget proposal
April 30, May 1-2
Council Committee Budget Markups
Budget Work Session in Chairman’s Conference Room
May 14
First Vote on Budget
May 28
FINAL Vote on Budget

Budget Blog
In an effort to increase budget transparency, the Council’s Office of the Budget Director has created a new blog dedicated to all things budget. The blog will be updated periodically as Council Committees move through the budget oversight hearing process for all agencies under their purview. Access the blog here:

We will continue to monitor and provide updates.