Update 3:45 PM
D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown's office has sent out a press release about the upcoming council meeting in which members are expected to talk about the 2013 budget. Without directly addressing the DC Fiscal Policy Institute letter, which was sent to the chairman's office Monday, the notice says at the bottom that, "The meeting in its entirety will be broadcast on DC cable (check channel listings for your provider)."
The chairman also called The Washington Examiner to point out the broadcast, however he declined to be quoted regarding the letter.
Original blog post:
The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute is urging D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown to keep the council's budget talks open to the public after the chairman scheduled a meeting among members this week to address the 2013 budget. The council is scheduled to take up the proposed budget at next Tuesday's scheduled legislative session.
Here is an excerpt from the letter, dated May 7 and obtained Tuesday by The Washington Examiner:
"The Council typically makes changes to the Mayor’s proposed budget, and many of the most important decisions are made after the final public hearings on the budget. Some of these decisions are informed by meetings that occur off the dais. In the spirit of our open meetings act, we hope these meetings will be accessible to the public and televised so those who cannot come to the Wilson Building can watch and be informed. Recently, meetings have been held off the dais, and though they have been “open” to the public, there have only been one or two seats made available for the public and the meetings have not been recorded for public viewing. We hope the meeting scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. will be both open and televised."
The group asks that, in addition to making all budget-related deliberations public, the council release its final budget proposal "at least 24 hours before the May 15 vote."
"These two actions would allow D.C. residents the information and time needed to review and understand the proposed budget," the letter says.