The D.C. Council's fight with Mayor Vince Gray over budget autonomy could be resolved only two weeks before the Council has to make its first vote on the mayor's budget, according to a schedule laid out today in a federal court hearing over the lawsuit filed by the Council and Chairman Phil Mendelson against Gray and Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWitt.
The District’s effort to decriminalize marijuana may be facing its first challenge from Congress.
In May, a House Oversight and Government Reform panel will convene for a hearing focused on the local legislation, according to Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. In a statement, she called it “inappropriate” to hold a hearing on the local marijuana laws of only one jurisdiction “when 18 states have decriminalized marijuana, 21 states have legalized medical marijuana and two states have legalized marijuana.”
Members of the House of Representatives will hold a hearing on D.C.'s marijuana decriminalization bill next month, a move that could lead to it being overturned under the Home Rule Act.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations will hold the hearing to examine possible conflicts with federal law.
The District government’s internal fight over its fiscal autonomy from Congress will be first heard, if not ultimately resolved, in the federal courts.
The D.C. Council filed its lawsuit last week in D.C. Superior Court, the District’s local court of general jurisdiction, putting it on a path to be ultimately decided in the D.C. Court of Appeals, the highest local court and one with a long history of resolving inter-branch disputes and interpreting the home rule charter.
Among the dozens of documents released Friday by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library — part of a trove of internal Clinton administration documents gradually being revealed to the public — is a fascinating piece of D.C. political history.
It is a Dec. 27, 1996, memo to Clinton, drafted by budget director Franklin D. Raines, presenting a menu of options for putting the District government on a sustainable financial footing — and, more broadly, setting the city on a path to prosperity.
Attorneys preparing to sue Mayor Vincent Gray and his administration to force compliance with the District’s budget autonomy law informed all relevant members of Congress before heading to D.C. Superior Court on Thursday.
Hours later, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee called for Congress to pass legislation co-sponsored by Chairman Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, that would permit the District to spend local tax funds without congressional approval.
With Capitol Hill failing to either stop the District’s local budget autonomy act from becoming law, or pass legislation freeing the city’s locally raised funds from the appropriations process, the issue is headed to court and pitting D.C.’s elected officials against one another.
Attorneys representing the D.C. Council filed suit on Thursday against the administration of Mayor Vincent Gray for refusing to comply with the process established when the local law went into effect on Jan. 1.
Standing in front of the D.C. Superior Court before members of the media this morning, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, along with Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) and attorneys Karen L. Dunn and Brian D. Netter, announced that the D.C. Council has filed a lawsuit against Mayor Vince Gray and the city's Chief Financial Officer over the budget autonomy referendum.
Six days after Mayor Vince Gray’s office told DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson’sschedule for passing the city’s 2015 budget would violate federal law and trigger a local government shutdown, the Council took the bait and sued Gray, claiming the District has more autonomy over its budget than the mayor’s office lets on.
The D.C. Council is suing Mayor Vincent Gray's office over a law that gives the city more control over its local budget.
District voters approved a referendum in 2012 that allows the city to spend its local tax dollars without authorization by Congress. Gray supported the measure but said he had questions about its legality. The referendum became law after Congress made no effort to invalidate it.