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May 19, 2017

Budget Update: DC Environment had a Good Day!

Fri May 19, 2017 at 02:53:26 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Global Green USA

Wednesday was a good day for the District!

DC Environmental Network:

Last Wednesday, the DC Council Committee on Transportation & Environment took a very important step towards supporting recycling programs, helping DC families in need, and restoring the Anacostia River.

After the DC Environmental Network (DCEN) convened budget briefings on Mayor Bowser’s proposed FY18 Budget, at both the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and the District Department of Public Works (DPW), as well as testifying at two performance oversight and two budget oversight hearings for the same agencies, DCEN had to decide what our budget advocacy priorities would be.

In the end, we decided to work towards restoring funding and staff to DC recycling programs, restoring funding to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and restoring funds slated to be used for Anacostia River restoration efforts. 

We are so very pleased to report that at the Committee on Transportation and the Environment mark-up of Mayor Bowser’s budget, the sustainability community made progress on every single budget goal and restored over $7.5 million dollars to important, proven, programs that are designed to help all of us live healthy and happy lives. Here are some details:

We even made progress in other areas including funding for a new composting facility and a new environmentally focused position (staff lawyer) at the Office of Attorney General. It was a very good day for the sustainability community.

It was clear as DCEN watched the budget mark-up that committee Chairperson Cheh, and Councilmember’s Allen, Evans, McDuffie, and Todd, had all done their homework, and were working hard to do a good job. The results were commendable and we are all very thankful for their efforts.

The Council still has to hold two more votes on the entire budget. The first vote of the full Council will be on May 30th, the final vote will be June 1st. Both votes will begin at 10:00 AM, and be held at the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 500. I am hoping some of you can join me in support of our budget goals.

DCEN will continue to monitor Council budget actions and make sure our changes survive the next few weeks. Thanks for all your help.

Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network, Global Green USA

 

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