New Year, New Budget: Refresher on What Was Funded in the FY20 Budget from the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety

Today marks the first day of Fiscal Year 2020 in the District of Columbia. Here’s a quick refresher and run-down on what was funded under Councilmember Charles Allen, the Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, when the Council voted to approve the FY20 budget earlier this year:

Public Safety Improvements and Criminal Justice Reforms

  • Nearly triples funding for violence prevention and intervention programming, for a total of $10.6 million
  • Extends the Metropolitan Police Department’s Senior Police Officer Program, allowing MPD to retain the expertise of retiring detectives and sergeants, and increases the Department’s hiring capacity
  • Strengthens trust in law enforcement by funding a new investigator for the Office of Police Complaints and identifying $150,000 for an independent review of the policing practices of MPD’s Narcotics and Special Investigation Division
  • Continues to expand alternatives to traditional prosecution by increasing restorative justice staff at the Office of the Attorney General
  • Closes critical gaps in the District’s criminal justice data by funding the MPD Arrest Data Feed Project at the D.C. Sentencing Commission, enabling the District to follow case outcomes from arrest to sentencing
  • Identifies more than $75 million for immediate capital renovation needs to the D.C. Jail to provide a safe and dignified facility, including $150,000 to continue the work of the planning and community engagement process for a replacement facility
  • Increases funding for returning citizens and reentry services by $1 million
  • Requires the D.C. Jail to provide opioid use disorder medication to inmates during their incarceration

Enhanced Supports for Crime Survivors

  • Approves more than $26 million in grants for domestic violence housing, sexual assault survivors’ services, healthy relationship education, and hospital-based violence prevention programming
    • Identifies funding for the development of a new strategic plan for housing for domestic violence survivors
  • Funds portions of the School Safety Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 to prevent child sexual abuse, sexual harassment and assault, and dating violence in schools
  • Expands legal protections in the workplace for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking
  • Approves $1.6 million for three new Place-Based Trauma-Informed Care Services Centers in neighborhoods with high rates of violent crime and trauma – these sites will link to existing violence prevention programming and provide trauma supports
  • Increases funding for families of crime victims for funeral and burial assistance

Legal Services for Vulnerable District Residents

  • Identifies $5.6 million to expand access to legal services for domestic violence survivors, seniors, consumers, individuals with disabilities, individuals experiencing homelessness and housing instability, and residents with criminal records seeking expungement
  • Creates a team of elder abuse prosecutors at the Office of the Attorney General
  • Supports funding for an environmental protection attorney at the Office of the Attorney General to defend and ensure healthy and clean air, land, and water for District residents by prosecuting violations of environmental laws
  • Protects low-income residents against excessive wage garnishment

Maintaining Dignified and Affordable Housing

  • Invests $4.5 million in lawyers for tenants facing eviction who cannot afford an attorney
  • Funds a new housing and community justice attorney at the Office of the Attorney General to focus on housing conditions,
    • including in properties owned by the D.C. Housing Authority, the District’s largest landlord

Investments in Fire, EMS, and 911/311

  • Dedicates $3.5 million to purchase 4 new ambulance units and hire an additional 45 firefighter paramedics or emergency medical technicians to improve emergency medical services in neighborhoods in the East End of the District
    • Funds an increase in total first responder staffing to 2,200 positions
  • Invests $65 million over 6 years to support the Department’s apparatus needs to replace its aging fleet, including:
    • $43.5 million to advance the construction of a new Fleet Maintenance Facility
    • $7.45 million to purchase five new ladder trucks in FY20
    • $3.9 million to purchase ten new ambulances in FY20
  • Sustains funding for the third year of the “Right Care, Right Now” Nurse Triage Line, which reduces 911 misuse for non-emergency healthcare needs
  • Expands authority and training for educators, restaurant staff, and workplaces to be prepared to treat anaphylaxis

Fair Elections and Government Accountability Reforms

  • Dedicates $3.2 million to fully fund the District’s new Fair Elections Program for publicly financed elections beginning in the 2020 election
  • Invests $160,000 in the Board of Elections to increase pay for poll workers and to hire temporary workers to improve the processing of absentee ballots
  • Supports the Office of Open Government by funding a new attorney to enforce the Open Meetings Act and promote transparency in District government operations

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