(Washington)–Mayor Vincent C. Gray, in response to the early morning weekend vote of the House that approved an aggressive plan to eliminate dozens of federal programs and offices and to cut $80M from the District, said the action would be another serious blow to the District's precarious financial situation as the city continues to grapple with the ill-effects of the nation's prolonged recession. With a looming deficit already in the making, the House's cuts probably will result in the elimination of key services for residents of the District, especially the impact on schools reform, and the possible loss of funding for HIV/AIDS prevention.
"We already have revised our budget by hundreds of millions of dollars and face even more severe challenges as we look to Fiscal Year 2012," said Mayor Gray. "We now will work quickly to learn with greater precision exactly where these cuts have been made in city services."
The FY2012 city budget gap is estimated to be in excess of 10 percent of the total local budget for the District of Columbia, a level that has the looming specter of deep cuts in services. Every agency will be asked to shoulder some of the burden to identify cost savings and cuts in programming as the city looks strategically to balance its budget for next fiscal year. In addition, Mayor Gray indicated that we will look at ways to mitigate cuts in key programs, including whether there are ways to raise additional revenue.
"All of us will have to make sacrifices to get through this as one city," said Gray. "Despite this painful situation, I am optimistic we will be stronger for it."