The Senate Appropriations Committee took the advice of its District of Columbia subcommittee yesterday and aproved a 1979 city budget that would increase city spending by $40 million above the House-voted level while cutting the amount the federal government would contribute by $38 million below this year's payment.
In recommending a $1.3 billion spending package to the full Senate, the committee issued a report that peppered the city with criticism of many programs ranging from maintaining an overly large payroll to allegations of rudeness by employes at the municipal dog pound.
The committee told the city it should consider raising Metro bus and subway fares or levying a special new tax to support transit service, and that it should take steps to eliminate bus service that parallels subway lines.
The committee also approved sharp restrictions on the pay and assignment of employes paid under the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) who work for the D.C. City Council. The council itself has scheduled a special meeting today to deal with the Labor Department's recent findings of CETA abuses.
The committee refused to authorise extra funds to pay cost-of-living increases to more than 30,000 families on public welfare, telling the city instead to squeeze the money out of other funds and make the higher payments itself.
This could be done, the committee said "if immediate steps (are) taken to remove ineligibles from the rolls and to prevent adding people . . . who are not qualified . . ."
Congress recently approved the hiring of 180 city workers to screen and police welfare rolls.
The 1979 budget measure was presented to the committee by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy(D-Vt.), the chairman of its D.C. subcommittee, who stressed that it is balanced as a result of higher-than-expected city revenue forecasts.
Among the increases are $17 million expected in greater fines generated by a new and more intensive civillian parking enforcement program, and $5 million in collection of overdue water bills.
Leahy sought to minimise the impact of the cut in the federal payment and said he would recommend a later increase in the payment if city revenues fall short.
Mayor Walter E. Washington described himself yerterday as still furious at the cut in the federal payment - a sum, he said, that is supposed to compensate the city for uncollectable taxes on exempt federal property and for services rendered to the government.
The 1978 federal payment is $276 million. President Carter recommended $317 for next year. The House cut the figure to $264 million. The Senate version recommended yesterday would be $238 million.
If the $238 million is eventually appropriated, that would mean the U.S. government would pay 18.5 percent of the cost of running the city next year, the lowest proportion of support since 1967. In 1972 and 1975, the payment represented about 27 percent of city costs.
Among increases in the budget above the House voted levels were $1.1 million for operating the new D.C. Courthouse, $8 million for welfare operations, $1.8 million to pay for the high costs of last winter's snow removal, $1 million for higher municipal electric bills, $7 million for employe payment increase, $1.9 million for increased school maintenance and $1.3 million for the new civilian parking program and numerous smaller items.
The committee also approved a federal grant of $9.9 million, the second of two instalments needed next year to pay off $19.8 million in bonds that were sold in 1961 to build Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.
Among city requests that were rejected by the committee was $1 million to begin a program of loans to low-income people for down payments on homes.
In its report, the subcommittee was critical of the city for not approving a recommendation by Metro's general manager, Theodore C. Lutz, for a 7 percent rise in bus and train fares. It said the city's subsidy is increasing $10.1 million to 33 percent, in 1979 over 1978.
The city cannot long afford to increase its contribution to Metro without increasing fares or withot receiving stable funding from a dedicated tax" the report said.
The committee approved $275,000 for improvements at the city dog pound, but had some unkind words for its employes.
"The committee is concerned," the report said, "at the reports regarding rude and unresponsive behavior directed toward the public by the city employes who work at the dog pound. The committee expects the employes . . . to act responsibly and with courtesy . . . " It did not say where the reports came from.