Summary: H.R.1345 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (04/06/1995)


Title I: Establishment and Organization of Authority

Title II: Responsibilities of Authority

Subtitle A: Establishment and Enforcement of Financial

Plan and Budget for District Government

Subtitle B: Issuance of Bonds

Subtitle C: Other Duties of Authority

Title III: Miscellaneous Provisions

District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995 - Title I: Establishment and Organization of Authority - Establishes the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority as an entity within the District of Columbia government.

(Sec. 102) Authorizes Federal employees who become employed by the Authority within two months of separation from Federal service to have their Authority service treated as comparable to Federal service with respect to the Federal retirement system. Makes employees who elect the Federal system ineligible to participate in the District government retirement system.

(Sec. 103) Authorizes the Authority, notwithstanding the Freedom of Information Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act, to secure information necessary to carry out this Act from Federal agencies.

Permits the Authority to seek judicial enforcement of its authority to carry out its responsibilities under this Act. Makes District employees who violate Authority orders or present or certify false or misleading information guilty of a misdemeanor as well as subject to administrative discipline.

(Sec. 104) Exempts the Authority from liability for obligations of or claims against the District resulting from actions taken to carry out this Act.

(Sec. 105) Requires actions against the Authority to be brought in the U.S. District Court for the District. Provides for expedited consideration of such actions in the courts involved.

(Sec. 106) Requires the Authority to submit a proposed budget for each fiscal year to the President for inclusion in the annual budget for the District. Prohibits any amount from being obligated or expended by the Authority unless such amount has been approved by an Act of the Congress.

Directs the Authority, as soon as practicable after the appointment of its members, to submit to the Mayor of the District and the President a request for reprogramming of funds previously appropriated for the District for auditing and consulting services and a description of anticipated Authority expenditures for FY 1995. Requires the Mayor to transfer such funds to the Authority for its activities.

(Sec. 107) Suspends the Authority's activities upon the expiration of the 12-month period beginning on the date the Authority certifies that all obligations arising from the issuance by the Authority of bonds, notes, or other obligations have been discharged and all borrowings for short-term advances from the Treasury have been repaid. Reactivates the Authority upon initiation of a control period (as described by section 209) by the Appropriations Committees.

(Sec. 108) Applies provisions of specified laws regarding open meetings, freedom of information, and conflict of interest to the Authority.

Prohibits the District Mayor and the Council from exercising any control, oversight, or review over the Authority. Amends the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act to bar the Council from enacting any act, resolution, or rule with respect to the Authority.

Title II: Responsibilities of Authority - Subtitle A: Establishment and Enforcement of Financial Plan and Budget for District Government - Directs the Mayor, for each fiscal year for which the District government is in a control period, to submit a financial plan and budget for the District to the Authority.

Lists requirements for the financial plan and budget, including that they be submitted for the applicable fiscal year and next three fiscal years and that they meet standards to promote the financial stability of the District government. Describes such standards as follows: (1) in the case of the financial plan and budget for FY 1996, the District's expenditures for each fiscal year (beginning with FY 1999) may not exceed the District's revenues for such year; (2) during FY 1996 through 1998, the government shall make substantial progress towards equalizing its expenditures and revenues; (3) the government shall provide for the liquidation of the cumulative fund balance deficit; (4) if funds in government accounts dedicated for specific purposes have been withdrawn for other purposes, the government shall fully restore the funds to such accounts; and (5) the financial plan and budget shall assure the continuing long-term financial stability of the government.

Repeals a provision of the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1995 that requires the District to place portions of Federal payments in escrow to enforce certain spending reductions.

(Sec. 202) Sets forth the process for the submission and approval of the financial plan and budget. Provides for review of the financial plan and budget by the Authority. Authorizes the Mayor to submit proposed revisions to the financial plan and budget for a control year (a year in which a financial plan and budget approved by the Authority is in effect) to the Authority at any time during the year.

Makes certain requirements under the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act which bar the approval and submission of an unbalanced budget inapplicable in fiscal years which are control years. Permits the separation of employees in the implementation of a financial plan and budget approved under this Act.

(Sec. 203) Requires the Council to submit to the Authority each Act passed by the Council during a control year, together with an estimate of costs to be incurred by the District during the first four years in which the Act is effective. Directs the Authority to review the Act to determine consistency with the approved financial plan and budget and, if consistent, provides for submission of the Act to the Congress for review.

Sets forth review and approval procedures with respect to contracts and leases. Directs the Mayor to submit any requests for the reprogramming of amounts provided in an adopted budget for a control year to the Authority for analysis of effects on the financial plan and budget. Prohibits the Council from carrying out such reprogramming until the Authority has provided such analysis.

(Sec. 204) Bars the District from borrowing money during a control year unless the Authority provides prior certification that the borrowing and the repayment of obligations are consistent with the financial plan and budget. Applies this section to any borrowing, including borrowing through the issuance of bonds and the authority to obtain funds from the Treasury.

Authorizes the District, without prior Authority approval, to requisition advances from the Treasury during a specified period following appointment of Authority members.

Amends the District of Columbia Revenue Act of 1939 to set forth provisions and conditions regarding short-term advances from the Treasury to the District for meeting its general expenditures.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to require the District to provide security for such advances, including a pledge of specific taxes and revenues and a debt service reserve fund.

Sets forth remedies for the District's failure to reimburse the Treasury for advances, including the withholding of annual Federal payments or Federal grants, entitlements, loans, or other payments (other than entitlement or benefit payments to individuals) and the attachment of District revenues.

Prohibits the Mayor from requisitioning Treasury advances if the Mayor or the Council has an action pending against the Authority.

(Sec. 205) Requires the Secretary, in a control year, to deposit the annual Federal payment to the District into an escrow account held by the Authority which shall allocate funds to the Mayor in accordance with terms appropriate to the implementation of the financial plan. Gives priority to using the payment for cash flow management and the payment of outstanding bills owed by the District.

(Sec. 206) Provides for withholding of Federal payments and funding for other Federal programs for the District if the Authority finds that the District's revenues and expenditures during a control year are inconsistent with the financial plan and budget.

(Sec. 207) Authorizes the Authority to submit recommendations on actions the District government or the Federal Government may take to ensure compliance with a financial plan and budget or to promote the financial stability, management responsibility, and service delivery efficiency of the District government. Sets forth requirements for the implementation of adopted recommendations.

(Sec. 208) Sets forth special procedures for the review and submission of the budget and financial plan for FY 1996.

(Sec. 209) Declares that a control period is initiated upon the occurrence of any of the following events: (1) the requisitioning by the Mayor of Treasury advances or the existence of any unreimbursed amounts obtained pursuant to such authority; (2) the failure of the District to provide sufficient revenue to a debt service reserve fund of the Authority; (3) the default by the District with respect to loans, bonds, notes, or other forms of borrowing; (4) the failure of the District to meet its payroll for any pay period; (5) the existence of a cash deficit of the District at the end of any quarter of the fiscal year in excess of the difference between the District's estimated revenues and expenditures during the remainder of the fiscal year or such remainder together with the first six months of the succeeding fiscal year; or (6) the failure of the District to make required payments relating to pensions and benefits for current and former employees or to any entity established under an interstate compact to which the District is a signatory.

Terminates a control period upon certification by the Authority that: (1) the District has adequate access to short- and long-term credit markets at reasonable interest rates to meet its borrowing needs; and (2) for four consecutive fiscal years, the District's expenditures did not exceed its revenues.

Deems a control period to exist upon this Act's enactment date.

Subtitle B: Issuance of Bonds - Authorizes the Authority, at the request of the Mayor pursuant to an act of the Council, to issue bonds, notes, or other obligations to borrow funds to obtain funds for the District's use. Permits the Authority to issue such obligations for the use of District agencies with independent borrowing authority. Provides for the deposit of borrowed funds into an escrow account and requires the Authority to allocate such funds to the District.

(Sec. 212) Authorizes the Authority to pledge or grant a security interest in revenues to individuals or entities purchasing bonds, notes, or other obligations issued pursuant to this subtitle. Directs the Authority to require the Mayor to: (1) pledge or direct taxes or other revenues payable to the District to the Authority for purposes of securing repayments of such obligations; and (2) transfer the proceeds of any tax levied for purposes of securing such obligations to the Authority immediately upon collection.

(Sec. 213) Requires the Authority to establish a debt service reserve fund as a condition for the issuance of such obligations. Permits amounts in the fund to be used solely for the payment of principal of bonds secured by such fund, the purchase or redemption of bonds, the payment of interest on bonds, or the payment of any redemption premium required to be paid when such bonds and notes are redeemed prior to maturity. Sets forth restrictions on withdrawals and issuance of obligations from the fund to prohibit the fund from falling below a minimum reserve requirement.

(Sec. 215) Exempts the United States from liability for the payment of principal or interest on any obligation issued pursuant to this subtitle.

Subtitle C: Other Duties of Authority - Lists duties of the Authority beginning on the termination of a control period and ending with the suspension of its activities, including review of District budgets, reporting budget analyses, monitoring and reporting on the District's financial status, and carrying out activities with respect to outstanding obligations.

Requires the Mayor to submit budgets for fiscal years occurring during such period to the President and the Authority.

(Sec. 222) Permits the Authority to undertake cooperative efforts to assist the District government in achieving financial stability and management efficiency.

Sets forth miscellaneous reporting requirements.

Title III: Miscellaneous Provisions - Includes within the definition of "District revenues" under the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act grants and other financial assistance and any funds administered by the District under cost sharing arrangements.

Prohibits reprogramming of amounts in an adopted budget unless the Mayor requests reprogramming from the Council and additional expenditures provided under the request are offset by reductions in expenditures for another activity.

Extends the authorization of appropriations for the annual Federal payment to the District through FY 1999.

(Sec. 302) Establishes within the executive branch of the District government an Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia. Includes the Office of the Treasurer within the Office. Transfers the functions and personnel of the District Controller, Office of the Budget, Office of Financial Information Services, and Department of Finance and Revenue to the Office. Sets forth duties of the Chief Financial Officer and the Treasurer. Repeals provisions that establish the Office of Financial Management and list the duties of the Treasurer.

(Sec. 303) Amends the District of Columbia Procurement Practices Act of 1985 to revise provisions regarding the appointment and duties of the District Inspector General, including to extend the term of office to six years.

(Sec. 304) Bars the making of any contract involving expenditures exceeding $1 million in a 12-month period unless the contract is approved by the Council.