Morning Read: Mayor Gray Delivers State Of The District, Proposes More Affordable Housing

mayor vincent gray
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Mayor Gray delivered his annual State of the District Tuesday night at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, stressing the financial health of D.C. and the need for it to diversify its economy and become less dependent on the federal government.

The Mayor touted the city’s recently announced $417 million surplus from fiscal year 2012 and said the city is on track for additional surpluses in the coming quarters.

One of the big announcements Mayor Gray made during his speech was his proposal to invest $100 million in building and preserving 10,000 units of affordable housing. This will be funding from the expected revenue bump city officials expect to see in 2013.

He did not go into details, but said he wanted to give raises to city employees, many of whom have not seen pay increases in nearly seven years.

Tonight, I am proposing that we make this right, by giving raises and reaching new work agreements updated to meet the demands of a 21st -century government and a 21st-century workforce.

Gray also proposed the establishment of the One City Fund—a $15 million investment that would allow non-profits to compete openly and transparently for one-year grants of up to $100,000.

He called the District’s current contracting rules “byzantine” and said he would tackle procurement reforms. His didn’t lay out specifics, but said his reform proposals would streamline the Districts purchasing and contracting practices, in part, by eliminating confusing and outdated rules.

Mayor Gray will travel to Qatar this year to seek foreign investors.

Read the full speech here


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* Meanwhile, an anti-gun rally outside the Maryland State House is expected to draw more than 3,000 people while O’Malley is testifying. (Capital Gazette)

* Rep. Darrell Issa said he would work to include language to “unlink the District’s budget from the congressional appropriations process in any continuing resolution to fund the government through fiscal 2013.” (Roll Call)

* The House passed Gov. McDonnell's transportation plan Tuesday that would replace the gas tax with an increase in the sales tax to pay for roads. (Washington Post)

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* The Virginia Senate voted Tuesday along party lines to require Virginians to bring a photo ID to the polls. This bill was amended so it will not go into effect until 2014. (Washington Examiner)

* Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin says that Cuccinelli is undermining the Virginia transportation plan. (Washington Post)

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* Va. Republicans passed a measure calling for a $17,000 study into an alternative currency "in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System." (Washington Examiner)

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