DC Council votes to keep local government open - New York News

DC Council votes to keep local government open

Posted: Updated:
  • Government ShutdownMore>>

  • Key support for budget deal; deficits would rise

    Key support for budget deal; deficits would rise

    Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:48 PM EST2013-12-11 23:48:33 GMT
    A newly minted budget deal to avert future government shutdowns gained important ground Wednesday among House Republicans who are more accustomed to brinkmanship than compromise, even though it would nudge federal deficits higher three years in a row.
    A newly minted budget deal to avert future government shutdowns gained important ground Wednesday among House Republicans who are more accustomed to brinkmanship than compromise, even though it would nudge federal deficits higher three years in a row.
  • Shutdown lawnmower man honored with new chainsaw

    Shutdown lawnmower man honored with new chainsaw

    Wednesday, November 13 2013 1:44 PM EST2013-11-13 18:44:34 GMT
    The man who mowed the lawn around the Lincoln Memorial during the shutdown is getting honored Wednesday. Chris Cox was out at the Lincoln Memorial with a lawnmower and chain saw in early October.
    The man who mowed the lawn around the Lincoln Memorial during the shutdown is getting honored Wednesday. Chris Cox was out at the Lincoln Memorial with a lawnmower and chain saw in early October.
  • For Cuccinelli, few good options on shutdown

    For Cuccinelli, few good options on shutdown

    Wednesday, October 23 2013 4:50 PM EDT2013-10-23 20:50:09 GMT
    The 16-day partial government shutdown is all but certain to figure prominently in Thursday's final sparring match between candidates in the governor's race. And that could be a problem for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.
    The 16-day partial government shutdown is all but certain to figure prominently in Thursday's final sparring match between candidates in the governor's race. And that could be a problem for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.
WASHINGTON -

District of Columbia lawmakers approved emergency legislation Tuesday to keep tens of thousands of municipal workers on the job and collecting pay during a partial federal government shutdown.

The D.C. Council bill authorizes the government to tap a contingency fund to pay the roughly 32,000 city workers during the shutdown. The measure, along with a related decision by Mayor Vincent Gray to declare all local government operations essential, means that all municipal services — from trash collection to libraries — will continue uninterrupted in a city otherwise grappling with the impact of the partial federal shutdown.

"Everything is open for business today," a smiling Gray told reporters after the council vote.

Gray made a rare appearance in the D.C. Council chamber as councilmembers praised his stance in keeping local government open in spite of gridlock in Congress, which wields ultimate authority over the city's funding and laws.

"So frequently it's easy for visitors to come to our city, and say, 'Well, we're visiting the monuments' and forget about the people that live here and the plight of the people that live here," Councilmember Anita Bonds said, adding that, "Wherever I go, people say, 'We're necessary, we're necessary.' And what it does is bring the dignity we want for the District for Columbia."

The Council legislation permits the government to pay workers from a contingency cash reserve fund holding roughly $144 million, and the mayor has requested adding to that fund $85.9 million of certified additional revenue. Officials expect the fund to cover a couple weeks of operations and say the figure would grow if an additional $110 million from an emergency cash reserve fund is also used.

"I think it's important that we did that because the government needs to keep functioning. Just because the House can't agree with the Senate is not a reason for citizens' trash to not be picked up," Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said in an interview after the vote.

Even with local government operational, hundreds of thousands of federal workers were sent home, barricades went up around some of Washington's most significant landmarks — including the Lincoln Memorial — and federal agencies that employ a large percentage of the regional workforce were essentially shuttered. Metrorail ridership rose slightly during the mid-day hours, perhaps because of the early dismissal of federal workers.

"We are aware of federal workers heading home from their offices during the mid-day hours, so certainly some if not most of the additional trips taken during those hours were federal workers heading home early," said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

The D.C. Council vote came hours before House Republicans sought passage of legislation aimed at reopening slices of the federal government. The Republican bills covered the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Park Service and a portion of the D.C. government funded with local tax revenue. But the measures fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage, with Democrats arguing that Republicans shouldn't be permitted to choose which agencies remain open and which stay shut.

______

By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:43:52 GMT
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
  • Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:07:39 GMT
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
  • Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:13:49 GMT
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices