Muriel Bowser

DC Mayor Presents 2018 Budget Plan, With $600M More to Spend

'This is the time to be involved," News4's Tom Sherwood said

The mayor of Washington, D.C. presented her proposed 2018 budget on Tuesday, laying out a "roadmap for inclusive prosperity."

With $600 million more to spend than in the fiscal 2017 budget, Mayor Muriel Bowser's $13.8 billion plan boosts funds devoted to housing, schools and street repairs. 

The budget calls for a $105 million increase in funding for DC Public Schools and public charter schools, $2.3 million for the creation of an office to help residents who recently left jail or prison, and $100 million dedicated to producing and protecting affordable housing.

Bowser said in a letter that the budget was designed to help all residents thrive.

"In a city as prosperous as ours, we can and should make all of these critical investments to ensure that residents in all eight wards can share in inclusive prosperity," the mayor wrote to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

The executive director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Ed Lazere, said the budget does not devote enough money to social services to help the neediest people in the city.

"The district is really strong financially," he said. "And yet when you look at this budget, it puts tax cuts ahead of fully funding schools. It put tax cuts ahead of fully funding homeless services."

Bowser said the budget does address social issues and that upcoming tax cuts were approved by the D.C. Council three years ago.

"I didn't hear, like, a raging desire to roll back the tax triggers that the Council agreed to," she said.

Go here to find the full budget.

The D.C. Council will hold budget oversight hearings in the weeks to come and take a final vote in late May. 

News4's Tom Sherwood said now is the time for residents to tell elected officials what they want done.

"If you want something in your neighborhood, this is the time to go down to the Council," he said. "If you want something or don't want something, this is the time to be involved."

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