Brooke's Briefing: DC Council Takes Its First Vote on the FY25 Budget

Posted by
V. Casarrubias
May 31, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

This week, the Council held its first vote to approve our Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) Budget. I’ll walk through some of the considerations we made to balance the importance of maintaining a responsible and sustainable budget over the long-term with the need for critical investments that allow our communities to thrive.

There are two notable tax increases in the budget, neither of which I support: one for employers to pay into and one for residential property taxes for homes valued over $2.5 million. I provide more information on this below; however, despite my opposing these taxes, the amounts the Chairman included in his budget prevented a potentially larger increase that some of my colleagues were contemplating.

Specifically, I'll share with you:

Critical Investments Included in the FY25 Budget

With each decision in this budget cycle, I am advancing a vision for the District that provides fundamental safety for our residents in every neighborhood; ensures DC is a competitive and opportunity-rich location to do business with a thriving Downtown; and invests in and supports our residents across all ages and incomes so that everyone can prosper.

Following the investments I made through the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, I worked extremely closely with the Chairman and my other Council colleagues to restore, find, and protect funding for public safety needs, downtown investments, small business supports, education and youth initiatives, affordable housing, and seniors and LGBTQQIA+ community supports. I am very proud of the progress we have made to invest in each of these areas.

Click to watch my video recap of the first budget vote

To improve public safety, we:

To revitalize our Downtown, we:

To support small businesses, we:

To support education and ensure our youth can prosper, we:

To support housing and health initiatives, we:

To support our senior and LGBTQQIA+ communities, we:

I am extremely proud that despite a challenging budget year, we were able to secure so many investments to support Ward 2 communities and priorities.

Maintaining a Responsible Budget over the Long Term

As the legislative body for the District of Columbia, we have a responsibility to balance the needs of our residents in every neighborhood while remaining conscientious of the burden we are asking of our taxpayers and our competitive position in the region.

We must keep our eye on the long-term, responsible stabilization of our budget while we weigh the hundreds of choices before us to support our social safety net, education and literacy, affordable and accessible housing, and fundamental safety across the District.

According to our own budget office analysis, the District has the most progressive tax system in the country. I do not support adding new taxes for our residents or businesses. It is critical that we ensure the District continues to draw and keep businesses and residents of all incomes and establish its regional and national competitive edge.

There are two notable tax increases in the budget, neither of which I support. Here is what these new taxes do:

Additionally, to address our Chief Financial Officer’s (CFO) concern about the District’s future cash flow in 2028, the Council will require that any new or unexpected revenue over the next 6 months be automatically added to the District’s reserves, or “rainy day fund,” and that the reserves be fully replenished by 2026. These requirements create an important backstop to ensure the responsible protection of our reserves and help to ameliorate some of my concerns about how we are using this fund.

While I don’t agree with everything in this first iteration of the Council’s budget, I do believe that we strived to accomplish a sustainable budget that meets the needs of our communities.

Priority Issues Before the Final Budget Vote

Over the next few weeks as the Council finalizes the budget, I will be focused on many outstanding priority issues, including but not limited to:

There are other projects that I will continue to champion, and this should all be done by moving funds from other sources as opposed to introducing or supporting new revenue raisers.

I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to ensure this year’s budget appropriately balances the needs and livelihoods of our communities and the long-term financial stability of the District.

Yours in Service,


In the last few weeks, Councilmember Pinto and Team Pinto have been out and about in Ward 2 and across the city, including to:


On June 17th, the Judiciary Committee will hold a public roundtable and a public hearing. The public roundtable will begin at 10:30am regarding the nomination of William “Clint” Osborn as the Director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. He currently serves as the Interim Director. The public hearing will begin at 11:30am or following the close of the roundtable, and the Committee will hear from witnesses about seven bills pertaining to trusts.

Both the hearing and the roundtable will be hybrid, and you may watch the hearings in-person at the Wilson Building and virtually on YouTube. You can find information on all upcoming hearings at the Council and sign up to testify here.

Witnesses who anticipate needing language interpretation, including sign language interpretation, are asked to inform the Committee of the need as soon as possible but no later than five business days before a hearing during registration or by contacting Ms. Aukima Benjamin, Committee Manager to the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, at (202) 724-8058 or via e-mail at  

Hearings Recap

On May 16th, Councilmember Pinto attended the RLYA hearing to discuss the bill she introduced last year, B25-0477, Expanding Community Access to Safe and Clean Recreational Space Act of 2023. The bill aims to establish a partnership between the Department of Parks and Recreation and the DC Public Schools to expand safe and sanitary community access to recreational facilities in every ward outside of the hours in which facilities are in active use by schools and students. The bill is modeled after a pilot the Council funded last year at Banneker High School and Garrison Elementary School to provide security and custodial services on nights and weekends.

During this hearing, Councilmember Pinto asked Director Freeman for updates on the implementation of this pilot program, since the funds were released last year and the MOU between DCPS and DPR has not yet been finalized. It’s critical that neighbors have expanded community access to safe and clean recreation space in all eight wards. Learn more about the bill here. More details about the hearing can be found here.

On May 30, Councilmember Pinto held a hearing discussing the first three title of Mayor Bower’s bill, B25-791, Utilizing Partnerships and Local Interventions for Truancy (UPLIFT) Amendment Act of 2024. The bill would require families of youth charged with certain dangerous crimes to meet and develop a rehabilitation plan with the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, would limit the use of diversion for youth charged with certain dangerous crimes, and would limit the use of consent agreements, deferred disposition agreements, and deferred adjudication agreements for youth charged with certain dangerous crimes. Learn more about B25-0791 here. More details about the hearing can be found at here.  

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