Thursday, April 17, 2014 | WAMU Radio (DC) | Martin Austermuhle and Patrick Madden

A conflict between the D.C. Council and Mayor Vincent Gray over whether or not the city now enjoys budget autonomy is heading to court, and a ruling could have an impact on how this year's budget process plays out.

The Council is filing suit today over last year's budget autonomy referendum, in which 83 percent of D.C. residents voted to amend the city's Home Rule Charter to allow the city more control over its locally raised funds.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Washington Post (DC) | Mike DeBonis

It was probably destined to come to this: With all sides locked into conflicting positions on the validity of last year’s budget autonomy referendum, it will now be up to a judge – or, more likely, a D.C. Court of Appeals panel — to determine if the ballot measure means the city can now spend local funds without a separate congressional appropriation. D.C.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | DC Vote - Press Release | James Jones

DC Vote is proud to have joined the suit filed in DC Superior Court by the DC Council today in support of DC budget autonomy and the will of the people. DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry issued the following statement regarding the filing of the suit.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Roll Call (DC) | Hannah Hesse

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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | DCist.com | Matt Cohen

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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Washingtonian

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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Associated Press News Service (AP)

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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Washington Post (DC) | Mike DeBonis

The D.C. Council sued the mayor for the first time in more than a decade Thursday, challenging Vincent C. Gray’s refusal to abide by a ballot measure granting the city greater fiscal freedom from Congress, even as Gray emphasized his sympathy with the council’s ultimate goal.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | Washington Post (DC) | Aaron C. Davis and Mike DeBonis

The D.C. Council will sue Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the city’s chief financial officer, the council chairman said Wednesday, setting up the first such legal showdown between the city’s two branches of government in a decade.

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) said the council will ask a D.C. Superior Court judge to determine whether Gray (D) and CFO Jeffrey S. DeWitt are violating a voter-approved law that allows the city to spend billions of dollars of its own money without strict congressional approval.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | Washington Post (DC) | Editorial Board

WELL BEFORE D.C. voters gave overwhelming approval to a referendum backing local budget autonomy, there was disagreement about the legality of the effort to free the District’s finances from Congress. The city’s attorney general argued against putting it on the ballot, the D.C. Council had its own counsel attesting to its soundness, and the mayor went along despite some doubts. So the current standoff over implementation of the referendum was clearly foreordained; the only way it can be resolved now is with a court deciding which side is right.

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