WASHINGTON, D.C. – RealEstateRama – The House Committee on Appropriations today released the text of the fiscal year 2024 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which includes many victories secured by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) despite Republican control of the House. The bill provides $40 million for the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program (DCTAG), a program created by a Norton bill. The appropriations bill, however, includes several new anti-home rule riders.
“I am pleased at many of the provisions in the text of the D.C. spending bill released by the House Appropriations Committee today, which I was able to secure despite Republican control of the House,” Norton said. “I am particularly pleased the bill provides $40 million for DCTAG. DCTAG is critical for D.C. students and families, who do not have the same array of public institutions of higher education that most states do, and for the D.C. tax base because DCTAG encourages taxpayers to move to and remain in the District.”
Norton secured the following victories:
- The bill provides $40 million for DCTAG. DCTAG makes up the difference for D.C. residents between in-state and out-of-state tuition at public institutions of higher education in the United States.
- The bill exempts D.C. from federal government shutdowns in fiscal year 2024. Norton has gotten annual shutdown exemptions enacted every year since the 2013 federal government shutdown.
- The bill provides $8 million for D.C. Water for ongoing work to control flooding in D.C. and to clean up the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers and Rock Creek.
- The bill provides $28 million for the Emergency Planning and Security Fund, which pays for the unique public safety and security costs the District incurs as the nation’s capital, and is designed to cover the District’s costs upfront so D.C. does not need to expend local funds and then seek an appropriation to be reimbursed for such costs after the fact.
- The bill provides $600,000 for the Major General David F. Wherley, Jr. District of Columbia National Guard Retention and College Access Program.
- The bill provides $4 million to combat HIV/AIDS in D.C.
Norton is disappointed that the bill allows new students to enroll in the D.C. private school voucher program, instead of only permitting current students to remain in the program. Congress imposed the voucher program on the District, which is the only federally funded or created voucher program, even though Congress has rejected a national voucher program. Norton says the program does not deserve federal funding because, among other things, it has failed to meet its own goal of improving academic achievement, as measured by math and reading test scores.
Norton said she was outraged at the anti-home-rule riders in the bill, which Republicans try to attach to the annual D.C. spending bill to exert control over local D.C. matters, despite their positions as elected officials representing districts far from D.C. The text released today:
- Repeals D.C.’s Death with Dignity Act.
- Maintains the existing abortion rider, which prohibits D.C. from spending its own local funds on abortions for low-income women.
- Maintains the existing marijuana rider, which prohibits D.C. from commercializing the sale of marijuana.
- Prohibits D.C. from using funds to enact or carry out any law that prohibits motorists from making right turns on red, including the Safer Streets Amendment Act of 2022.
- Prohibits D.C. from using funds to carry out its automated traffic enforcement law.
- Repeals a portion of D.C ‘s Anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) law that currently exempts the D.C. government.
- Requires D.C. to report on its enforcement of the Partial Birth Abortion Act.
- Requires D.C. to report on maternity care access.
- Prohibits D.C. from using funds to carry out the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act.