Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate without amendment (09/21/2004)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2005 - Title I: Federal Funds - Makes appropriations to the District of Columbia for FY 2005, including amounts for the Federal payments: (1) for District of Columbia Resident Tuition Support; (2) for emergency planning and security costs in the District; (3) to District of Columbia Courts; (4) for Defender Services in District of Columbia Courts; (5) to the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia (including transfer of funds); (6) to the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority; (7) to the District Department of Transportation for the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative; (8) to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council; (9) for the Unified Communications Center; (10) to the District Department of Transportation for a downtown circulator transit system and to offset a portion of the District's allocated operating subsidy payment to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; (11) for foster care improvements; (12) to the Chief Financial Officer of the District (CFO); (13) for a school improvement program; and (14) for construction of a bioterrorism and forensics laboratory.

Title II: District of Columbia Funds - Appropriates specified sums out of the District's general fund and/or other funds for the current fiscal year for: (1) operating expenses (with limitations); (2) governmental direction and support; (3) economic development and regulation; (4) public safety and justice; (5) the public education system (including transfer of funds); (6) human support services (including transfer of funds); (7) public works; (8) the Cash Reserve; (9) the Emergency and Contingency Reserve Fund; (10) repayment of certain loans and interest; (11) payment of interest on short-term borrowing; (12) principal and interest payments on the District's Certificates of Participation, issued to finance the ground lease underlying the building located at One Judiciary Square; (13) refunds and the payment of legal settlements or judgments that have been entered against the District government; (14) the John A. Wilson Building; (15) workforce investments; (16) certain non-departmental agency costs; (17) pay-as-you-go capital in lieu of capital financing; (18) the Emergency Planning and Security Fund; (19) the Old Convention Center Demolition Reserve; (20) a Tax Increment Financing Program; (21) the Pay-As-You-Go Contingency Fund; (22) the Water and Sewer Authority; (23) the Washington Aqueduct; (24) the Stormwater Permit Compliance Enterprise Fund; (25) the Lottery and Charitable Games Enterprise Fund; (26) the Sports and Entertainment Commission; (27) the District of Columbia Retirement Board; (28) the Washington Convention Center Enterprise Fund; (29) the National Capital Revitalization Corporation; (30) the University of the District of Columbia; (31) the Unemployment Compensation Fund; (32) the District of Columbia Personnel Trust Fund; (33) the District of Columbia Public Library Trust Fund; and (34) capital outlay (including rescissions).

Declares that, if the Chief Financial Officer for the District of Columbia certifies through a revised revenue estimate that funds are available from local funds, such available funds shall be expended as provided in the Contingency for Recordation and Transfer Tax Reduction and the Office of Property Management and Library Expenditures Act of 2004, approved by the Council of the District of Columbia on 1st reading, May 14, 2004 (Bill 15-768), including up to certain amounts to the Office of Property Management, the District of Columbia Public Library, the D.C. Police and Firefighters Retirement and Relief Board, and the Police and Fire Clinic.

Title III: General Provisions - Sets forth authorized or prohibited uses of funds appropriated by this Act identical or similar to corresponding provisions of the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2004.

(Sec. 307) Prohibits Federal funds provided in this Act from being used to carry out lobbying activities on any matter.

(Sec. 308) Prohibits the availability of appropriations, without prior approval by the congressional appropriations committees, for obligation or expenditure through a reprogramming of funds that: (1) creates a new program; (2) eliminates a program, project, or responsibility center; (3) establishes or changes allocations specifically denied, limited, or increased under this Act; (4) increases funds or personnel for any program, project, or responsibility center for which funds have been denied or restricted; (5) reestablishes any program or project previously deferred through reprogramming; (6) augments existing programs, projects, or responsibility centers in excess of $1 million or ten percent, whichever is less; or (7) increases by 20 percent or more personnel assigned to a specific program, project, or responsibility center.

(Sec. 314) Prohibits the expenditure of funds appropriated under this Act for abortions except where the mother's life would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or in cases of rape or incest.

(Sec. 315) Bars the use of Federal funds under this Act to implement or enforce: (1) the District of Columbia Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992 (also known as the District Domestic Partner Act); or (2) any system of registration of unmarried, cohabiting couples for purposes of extending them benefits on the same basis as such benefits are extended to legally married couples.

(Sec. 319) Prohibits the use of Federal funds contained in this Act: (1) by the District of Columbia Corporation Counsel or any other District government officer or entity to provide assistance for any petition drive or civil action which seeks to require Congress to provide for voting representation in Congress for the District; or (2) for any program of distributing sterile needles or syringes for the hypodermic injection of any illegal drug (requires individuals or entities who do so to account for all funds used for such program separately from any funds contained in this Act).

(Sec. 321) Prohibits the use of funds contained in this Act: (1) 60 days after its enactment to pay the salary of any chief financial officer of any District government office who has not filed a certification with the Mayor and CFO that the officer understands the duties and restrictions applicable, including reports required as a result of this Act or its amendments; or (2) to enact or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act or any tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) derivative.

(Sec. 322) Provides that the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998, also known as Initiative 59, approved by the electors of the District on November 3, 1998, shall not take effect.

(Sec. 323) Provides that nothing in this Act may be construed to prevent the Council or the Mayor of the District of Columbia from addressing the issue of the provision of contraceptive coverage by health insurance plans. Expresses the intent of Congress that any legislation enacted on such issue should include a "conscience clause" which provides exceptions for religious beliefs and moral convictions.

(Sec. 324) Requires the Mayor to report quarterly to specified congressional committees on the following District issues: (1) crime; (2) access to substance and alcohol abuse treatment; (3) management of parolees and pre-trial violent offenders; (4) education; (5) improvement in basic District services, including rat control and abatement; (6) application for and management of Federal grants; and (7) indicators of child well-being.

(Sec. 326) Prohibits the funds contained in this Act from being used to issue, administer, or enforce any order by the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights relating to docket numbers 93-030-(PA) and 93-031-(PA) (In The Matter Of: Roland D. Pool and Michael S. Geller (Boy Scouts' Policy of Excluding Homosexuals)).

(Sec. 327) Requires the District of Columbia Courts to transfer to the D.C. Treasury all fines levied and collected by the Courts in cases charging Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Impaired. Requires the Office of the Corporation Counsel to use such funds for enforcement and prosecution of District traffic alcohol laws.

(Sec. 328) Prohibits funds contained in this Act from being made available to pay: (1) the fees in excess of $4,000 of an attorney who represents a party or defends an action, including an administrative proceeding, brought against the DC Public Schools under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); or (2) the fees of an attorney or firm whom the CFO determines to have a pecuniary interest, either through an attorney, officer or employee of the firm, in any special education diagnostic services, schools, or other special education service providers.

(Sec. 329) Directs the CFO to require attorneys in special education cases brought under IDEA in the District to certify in writing, along with other specified disclosures, that the attorney or representative rendered any and all services for which they receive awards, including those received under a settlement agreement or as part of an administrative proceeding, under IDEA.

(Sec. 330) Amends the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001 to repeal certain reporting requirements for the inspectors general of Federal agencies regarding the promptness of payments to the District for water and sanitary sewer services.

(Sec. 331) Amends the District of Columbia Code to repeal the authority of the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration to approve the bonds of fiduciary employees with the D.C. court system.

Repeals: (1) requirements that the Executive and Fiscal Officers in the D.C. court system give bond with two or more sureties with the Joint Committee's approval, in an amount prescribed by the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration in the District of Columbia; and (2) similar requirements with respect to the Auditor-Master and the Register of Wills of the Superior Court.

(Sec. 332) Provides that travel under Federal supply schedules is authorized for the travel of D.C. court personnel on official business, subject to requirements, conditions, and restrictions prescribed by the Joint Committee.

(Sec. 333) Amends the District of Columbia Home Rule Act with respect to the District's emergency cash reserve fund and contingency cash reserve fund. Changes from February 15 to October 1 the deadlines for mandatory annual cash deposits into such funds by the Mayor. Reduces from four percent of operating expenditures to two percent of such expenditures the minimum balance in the emergency cash reserve the Mayor must maintain. Increases from three to four percent of operating expenditures the minimum balance in the contingency cash reserve fund the Mayor must maintain.

(Sec. 334) Requires the CFO, for FY 2005, to recalculate such reserve funds (as amended by this Act). Authorizes the CFO, after such recalculation, to transfer funds: (1) between the reserve funds to reach the required percentages; and (2) from them to the General Fund of the District to the extent that such funds are not necessary to meet their established requirements. Bases cash reserve requirements for both funds upon prior year actual expenditures, rather than the proposed expenditures of the current budget year. Extends the replenishment requirement from one year to two years. Prohibits the CFO from transferring funds from the emergency or the contingency reserve funds to the extent that such a transfer would lower the FY 2005 total percentage below seven percent.

(Sec. 335) Amends the Policemen and Firemen's Retirement and Disability Act Amendments of 1957 to allow payment of associated administrative expenses from appropriations made to the District to reimburse its retirement and disability benefit payments to or for members of the U.S. Park Police force, the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division, and the U.S. Secret Service Division.

(Sec. 336) Appropriates for the Office of the Inspector General (IG) such amounts in local funds, as are consistent with the IG's annual estimates for the expenditures and appropriations necessary for the operation of the Office for FY 2005.

(Sec. 337) Extends through FY 2005 the CFO's authority with respect to personnel, procurement, and the preparation of fiscal impact statements during a control period.

(Sec. 338) Amends the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1999 to require that the funds provided for establishment of a scholarship fund for D.C. children of adoptive families, and for post high school education and training of D.C. children without parents due to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, once obligated by the District to establish the scholarship fund, remain obligated and be retained by the District for 25 years to allow for any individual within the class to be assisted to reach post high school, and to present expenditures to be extinguished by the fund.

(Sec. 339) Amends the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2001 to authorize a recipient (eligible nonprofit corporation) of a grant from the Credit Enhancement Fund for Public Charter Schools in the District to use such funds to carry out activities to assist D.C. public charter schools in establishing regulations for administering lease guarantees to such schools through the credit enhancement fund.

Amends the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2003 to place the Office of Public Charter School Financing and Support under the Mayor's authority in lieu of the Department of Banking and Financial Institutions.

(Sec. 340) Amends the District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995 to declare that a petition to establish a public charter school in the District or to convert a District public school or an existing private or independent school into a public charter school, is a public document.

(Sec. 341) Reduces from two-thirds to 51percent the minimum number of full-time teachers employed in a school necessary to endorse a petition to convert a District public school or an existing private or independent school into a public charter school.

Grants a teacher employed at a D.C. public school that converts to a public charter school the option of remaining at the charter school during the school's first year of operation after receiving an extended leave of absence. Provides that, after this one-year period, the teacher may continue in such employment at the sole discretion of the public charter school, or shall maintain current status within the D.C. public school system.

Modifies the preference in leasing or purchasing former D.C. public school property for a public charter school to require the Mayor and the District government to give a right of first offer (currently, first preference) to be annually reinstated with respect to any facility or property not previously disposed of, or under contract to be disposed of, to an eligible applicant or Board of Trustees.

Modifies the requirement of the Mayor's jurisdiction over such facility or property. Requires the Mayor to have jurisdiction on the effective date of this Act or the Mayor or any successor agency to gain jurisdiction after such date.

Requires the purchase or lease to: (1) be negotiated by the Mayor; (2) include rent or an acquisition price, as applicable, that is at least 25 percent less than the appraised value of the property (based on use of the property for school purposes); and (3) include a lease period, if the property is to be leased, of not less than 25 years, renewable for additional 25-year periods as long as the eligible applicant or Board of Trustees maintains its charter.

Grants a D.C. public school approved to become a conversion public charter school the right to exclusively occupy the facilities the school occupied as a D.C. public school under a lease for a period of not less than 25 years, renewable for additional 25-year periods as long as the school maintains its charter at the non-profit rate, or if there is no non-profit rate, at 25 percent less than the fair market rate for school use.

(Sec. 342) Requires an eligible chartering authority to ensure that each public charter school complies with annual reporting requirements, including submission of the audited financial statement.

Requires the annual report of each eligible chartering authority that issues a charter to include: (1) details of major Board actions; (2) major findings from school reviews of academic, financial, and compliance with health and safety standards and resulting Board action or recommendations; (3) details of the fifth year review process and outcomes; and (4) a summary of annual financial audits of all charter schools, including the number of schools that failed to timely submit the required audited financial statement, those whose audits revealed a failure to follow required accounting practices or other material deficiencies and steps taken by the authority to rectify such deficiencies, and the ones which have required intervention by an authorizing board to address any academic or operational issue and what recommendations the board has made to correct identified deficiencies.

(Sec. 343) Requires the Secretary of the Interior to lease to the District government for public recreational use, without consideration and for a 50-year period, specified National Park Service land in Anacostia Park, and the Kenilworth Parkside Community Center (under the District's jurisdiction).

Provides that nothing in the Act precludes the District of Columbia from entering into a sublease for all or part of the property with a public not-for-profit entity for the management or maintenance of the property.

(Sec. 344) Requires the Comptroller General to conduct biennial management evaluations of the District of Columbia Chartering Authorities for the District of Columbia Public Charter Schools. Specifies the contents of such evaluations.

Requires the Government Accountability Office, by May 1, 2005, to submit to congressional appropriations committees a baseline report on the performance of each authorizer in meeting the requirements of the School Reform Act of 1995.

Applies to the District of Columbia Board of Education Charter Schools Office's financial statements the same auditing requirements that apply to a District of Columbia Public Charter School Board's financial statements

(Sec. 345) Requires the Public Charter School Board to: (1) maintain its accounts according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for Not-for-Profit Organizations; and (2) forward the findings and recommendations of any audit to the Mayor, the D.C. Council, the appropriate congressional committees, and the CFO.

Grants such Board the authority to solicit, award, and execute contracts independently of the Office of Contracting and Procurement and the Chief Procurement Officer. Provides that nothing in the District of Columbia Code regarding procurement shall affect the Board's authority under this Act.