In March, after the mayor submitted his fiscal 2009 budget, several city hall wags told LL to check out the cover of the budget books produced by the Office of Budget and Planning. The cover contains background art composed of what looks to be an image of one of those new Metro canopies superimposed over a picture of cute, smiling kids in parks-and-rec T-shirts on Freedom Plaza, with the Wilson Building in the background. Also in the background: Standing just behind the kids, oh-so-faintly, is a woman wearing, gasp!, a Playboy bunny T-shirt!

It’s not often that LL finds a piece of political controversy too minute for his attention, but this was one of those occasions.

But things have changed! Yesterday, LL picked up a fresh set of budget books—-the ones issued when the budget is through the council and ready for submission to Congress. The cover, at first glance, appeared to be the same: very same smiling kids and very same Metro canopy. But lo and behold, Playboy bunny lady was gone—-Photoshopped out!

Check the closeup:

LL applauds the budget office’s attention to detail; you wouldn’t want some Neanderthal Republican congressman catching a glimpse of America’s foremost symbol of lasciviousness while sitting in judgment of the District’s financial plan, would you?

LL has inquired about the Bowdlerization with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and will completely on top of this story as it develops.

Full covers after the jump.

UPDATE, 2:23 P.M.: OCFO spokesperson Karyn-Siobhan Robinson reports that he agency wasn’t aware of any complaints about the original budget books. Rather, the design changes can be attributed, she says, to a desire to make the two versions look different. Besides the Playboy editing, Robinson points out that all of the teenagers in the background were deleted, as well as the name tags on the kids. “It appears to me that they wanted to simplify the design,” she says.