Mayor Marion Barry, emphasizing more jobs for youth and increased home ownership for low-and middle-income persons, proposed a $79.8 million supplemental budget yesterday that he said "for the first time" puts his imprint on the District of Columbia government. The budget calls for no additional taxes.
Most of the additional spending requested by the mayor, who took office Jan. 2, was aimed at maintaining "the bare necessities" of city operations, complying with numberous laws already enacted but not funded or obeying judicial orders to a government that Barry maintains is almost operating by court decree."
Still, nearly one of every four dollars the mayor would spend would finance new or rejuvenated efforts in the areas of employment, housing, the arts, minority business, Hispanic affairs, gay health care and citizen participation.
In his two major offensives, jobs and housing, Barry chose to emphasize self-help areas -- jobs instead of welfare and home ownership instead of rent subsidies, for example.
"These are my campaign promises. These are issues that affect the largest number of people," Barry said yesterday. "They all go together."
Barry's $11 million jobs proposal would provide 11,285 summer jobs and 2,000 year-round jobs for persons 14 to 24 years old, with an emphasis on poor youth and potential high school dropouts.
The mayor's $7.1 million housing package is a combination of interest-free and low-interest loans to help low- and middle-income people purchase homes, combined with efforts to increase the number of available housing units in the city. Barry said 500 home purchases and 25 housing repair programs could be assisted by the funds requested.
The supplemental budget proposed yesterday and sent to the City Council for action would increase spending for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.The city already is authorized to spend $1.3 billion during that period.
After the City Council acts, Congress also must approve the supplemental budget.
In addition to this supplement to the city's operating budget, the mayor asked yesterday for $48.8 million in supplemental spending on the 1979 capital improvements program, which has a $77.2 million budget.
Most of the new capital impovements money, $34.6 million, would compensate for overspending on highway construction projects by the D.C. Department of Transportation from 1962 to 1978. The bulk of the remaining money, $13.2 million, would finance the city's share of Metrorail construction costs.
Barry also asked Congress yesterday for $1.9 million to pay for water and sewer usage by federal agencies. Later this week, the mayor said, he will submit at $45 million amendment to the budget for the 1980 fiscal year. Congressional hearings on that budget are to begin March 5. The City Council is tentatively scheduled to begin its hearings on Barry's budget proposals March 14.
Barry said in his budget message yesterday that no increase in taxes would be required to finance the supplemental budget. Most of the money, $65 million, would come from Congress allocating the remainder of the $300 million federal payment it is authorized to make to the District to compensate for the loss of revenues from tax-exempt federal properties, he said.
The remainder would be revenues from sales, income and property taxes at current rates.
Barry said he also plans to finance operations in the next fiscal year by carrying over a $40 million cash balance shown on the city's books at the end of the 1978 fical year.
City Council member John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2) proposed last month that half that money be returned to residents in the form of income and property tax rebates. Yesterday, however, Barry said that $37.6 million of that amount will be needed to finance city operations through the end of the 1980 fiscal year.
"It will not be possible to give back a surplus to taxpayers because there is no surplus to give back when our overall financial picture is considered," Barry said. "The only way a rebate of any kind is possible is to reduce planned programmatic expenditures."
The major programs proposed by the mayor yesterday were developed because of the failure of federal programs to solve housing and employment needs in the city, Barry said. "They [the new programs] are mandatory in that we cannot continue to neglect these needs," he said. "The time to make a commitment to our citizens who are without adequate homes or without jobs is long overdue."
Barry's job program would create 13,285 jobs for young persons. Of those, 11,285 would be 9-week summer jobs paying $2.90 an hour for youths 14 to 21 years old. Barry also proposed 1,000 jobs for students at the same wage for 10-hour-a-week employment during the school year, with a specific emphasis on potential dropouts.
Barry's plan would also create 1,000 year-round jobs paying $3.25 an hour for out-of-school youths 16 to 24 years old.
Housing, like unemployment, was a major issue in Barry's campaign. The new mayor proposed yesterday spending $2.2 million to provide 250 interest-free down-payment loans to low-income households. Barry would also spend $2 million to provide up to 250 deferred-payment loans to help lowand middle-income persons secure mortgages.
Barry asked $750,000 to help the city's housing department bring abandoned homes up to occupancy standards. He also asked $2.1 million to provide low-interest loans to help church and community groups launch housing developments.
Barry also said he would spend $221,500 to toughen enforcement of the city's law aimed at discounting excess profits through real estate speculation.
Many of the mayor's budget proposals were addressed directly to groups that had supported him during his campaign.
Barry proposed $243,000 in additional art subsidies, $64,900 for publication in Spanish of vital city forms and pamphlets and for increased aid for Hispanic community development, and $25,000 to subsidize operation of a privately run venereal disease clinic for gays.
The mayor sought $105,700 to set up a citizen participation unit in the often-criticized planning department, $58,300 to bolster the District's minority contracting plan and $723,900 for a new program aimed at increasing the learning skills of first-year students at the University of the District of Columbia.
Barry also requested $16 million to help finance a 5.5 percent pay increase for all city employes, $8.7 million for a 5 percent increase in welfare payments, and $810,000 to support a $15-a-month increase in Supplemental Security Income payments.
Last year, angered by allegations of abuse in the city's police and fire pension plans. Congress reduced by $10 million the amount of money appropriated for the District police-fire pension fund. Yesterday, Barry said the District has moved to correct abuses and asked for a restoration of the funds plus $2 million for related expenditures.
In one unusual item, Barry requested, $230,000 to settle all claims arising from the shooting and subsequest paralysis of City Council intern Robert Pierce in the March 9, 1977, takeover of the District Building by Hanafi Muslims. Already, $250,000 has been provided for Pierce.