D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson (Courtesy photo)
**FILE** D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson (Courtesy photo)

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson formally laid out his $19.5 billion proposal for the city’s fiscal 2023 budget Monday.

Mendelson, speaking at the John A. Wilson Building in Northwest, especially lauded the budget’s funding for education.

“This budget takes major steps to level the playing field in education, and expand the city’s efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing,” he said. “It also nearly doubles the number of inspectors to stand up the new Department of Buildings on solid footing. My proposal to increase the funding for at-risk schools is a game-changer.”

Mendelson said the council will take its first vote on the budget Tuesday. The second vote will occur on May 24 before it is sent to Mayor Muriel Bowser and then to Congress for review. If no changes are made in the process, the new budget will go into effect on Oct. 1.

Highlights of the budget:

  • Adding $41.6 million to increase the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula.
  • Creating 41 new inspector positions for the new Department of Buildings.
  • Expanding the earned income tax credit to undocumented workers with a tax identification.
  • Providing 400 targeted affordable vouchers for families facing eviction.
  • A rental subsidy program for low-income seniors.
  • $116 million to the Access to Justice Initiative for those who need lawyers to deal with civil matters.

Mendelson said the Bowser administration received 99% of what it wanted out of the budget.

“We can never fund all the things we want to, but these proposed changes, along with the rest of the committees’ recommendations, will have a significant impact on all residents of the District,” the chairman said.

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