As Muriel Bowser‘s first budget heads into mark-up hearings at the D.C. Council, the mayor is backing down from two potential sticking points. In a letter yesterday to councilmembers, Bowser cancelled proposed cuts to the University of the District of Columbia and tabled a fight over open records requests for police body cameras.
In her original April budget, Bowser moved to cut $3.5 million from the University of the District of Columbia, even though chopping money out of a university doesn’t exactly square with her “Pathways to the Middle Class” budget theme.
Now, Bowser won’t have to push the cuts at the Council. In her letter, Bowser says the $3.5 million can stay, thanks to cost savings from the Wharf project in Southwest and charter school enrollment. Bowser writes that she wants the money to be spent on “programs which help place our residents on careers pathways.”
Last week, Bowser officials faced off with Ward 5 councilmember Kenyan McDuffie over whether footage from police body cameras, the rollout of which is about to be funded in Bowser’s budget, should uniformly exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests. Bowser wants the exemption; McDuffie (rightly) thinks that’s nuts. For now, though, Bowser says she’ll take the FOIA exemption out of the camera funding request, kicking the open record fight further down the road.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery