Council Unanimously Passes Final Piece of Annual Budget Package

Following on earlier unanimous approvals in prior votes at our last two meetings, the Council again voted unanimously to approve the Budget Support Act, the bill which puts legislative meat on the dollars-and-cents bones of the Local Budget Act.

While the budget itself includes innumerable significant accomplishments (detailed in our prior articles here and here), the handful of changes made at the most recent meeting were mostly administrative. One exception was the removal of a $4 million annual tax credit to incentivize the redevelopment of vacant office buildings to create additional residential space, including workforce affordable housing, in the Downtown and Golden Triangle Business Improvement Districts. Hearings are expected to be held in the coming year on standalone legislation to implement this pilot program.

The Council will be on recess until October, and our next Legislative Meeting will be held on October 5. Much like the rest of the Council’s budget process, the summer recess was delayed and extended as the District awaiting the release of guidelines on how federal stimulus funding could be spent.

During the summer work period, councilmembers spend additional time in the community, do deeper dives into legislative research, and study up on potential new legislative projects. This recess will be unique in a once-in-a-decade kind of way, as the Council’s Subcommittee on Redistricting will be digging into the new, more geographically focused Census data set to be released very soon, and is authorized to hold a hearing during the recess. Similarly, the Council’s Special Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery is also authorized to hold a hearing on their essential subject matter while the recess is underway.