Mayor Marion Barry proposed revisions to the current D.C. government budget yesterday, including more operating funds for public safety and corrections, as well as substantially increased capital spending to repair public housing and schools.
The revised $2.3 billion budget, which Barry submitted to the D.C. City Council for approval, forecasts $31.6 million more in revenues than projected when the fiscal 1986 budget originally was approved.
It also provides for a decrease of $35.4 million in spending from the original budget in various areas, including a $15 million saving in loan repayments because of refinancing that enabled the city to get better interest rates. Other major spending decreases are in the areas of police and firefighter and teacher retirement systems, based on changes in actuarial projections.
The higher-than-anticipated revenues and decreased spending results in $67 million more available for spending for other programs. The mayor's proposed revised budget would put most of those funds into mandated increases, such as $21.2 million for pay raises and expected overtime costs for police officers and firefighters.
In the area of corrections, the revised budget would add $6.4 million to pay the Federal Bureau of Prisons to house District inmates because of crowded conditions at the city's facilities.
The city will not be able to reduce its accumulated general fund deficit by $20 million, as mandated by Congress, because the federal government reduced its fiscal 1986 payments to the city by $16.8 million under the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction act, according to the new budget plan. As a result, only $5 million of the deficit will be repaid, according to the budget document.
The capital budget, financed through borrowing, would be increased by $126.8 million from the currently approved level for a total of $375.6 million.
About a third of the additional capital authority would be used for housing projects, primarily repairs in public housing. About $18 million more in capital spending would go to make repairs at public schools, more than doubling the $12.5 million approved in capital spending for that purpose in the original fiscal 1986 capital budget.
After the council approves a supplemental budget, it goes to Congress for review and approval. The current fiscal year began last Oct. 1.