Gray, left, notified the administration of his intent to declare all D.C. employees “essential,” and Norton continues to fight for legislation to keep the District funded.
The District is not a federal agency, and it shouldn’t be treated like one.
That’s the sentiment of emergency legislation passed Tuesday by the D.C. Council that authorizes the use of the city’s contingency funds to cover the payroll for roughly 32,000 municipal workers who are reporting to their jobs as usual, despite the shutdown of the federal government.
The vote comes after Mayor Vincent Gray sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget notifying the administration of his intent to declare all employees “essential” in the event of a shutdown and require that they report to work even without a congressional appropriation authorizing the District’s budget.
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said he proposed a vote “to make it clear, not just through the mayor’s statement, but through legislation that the government is essential and that we need to continue functioning.”
While the District receives federal funding for infrastructure, education and Medicaid, most of its spending comes from locally raised tax dollars. D.C. must submit its budget to Congress for approval through the appropriations process.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.