Yesterday, May 25th the District’s City Council once again passed a balanced budget (our 16th in a row). During the budget negotiations councilmembers debated service cuts vs. tax increases in order to reach a balanced budget. Whether one likes all of the details of the budget deal or not the reality is that the District’s legislative body and our Executive seem to have reached a deal for a balanced budget something that Congress still cannot do. Not only do we have a budget deal but guess what month we’re in (May) and the fiscal year doesn’t start until October 1.
But still because we don’t have statehood (autonomy + full voting rights) this budget will need to be reviewed by 535 people elected from elsewhere around the country who we in the District have no check or balance over. Last year the District’s budget was sent to Congress I believe in June or July (2010) and yet Congress didn’t approve it until the budget deal in early April 2011.
When we get statehood its important to note that the City Council, as legislation and our state constitution currently states, will become the House of Delegates for New Columbia and the Mayor will become the Governor. So our governance structure will be the same just with new titles and free from manipulation from Congress.