Federal judge bars D.C. from enforcing budget autonomy law

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge has barred the District of Columbia from implementing a law that purported to give the city the ability of the city to spend its local tax dollars without authorization from Congress.

Voters approved the so-called budget autonomy measure in 2013, and it was added to the city charter after Congress didn't intervene. But Washington Mayor Vincent Gray has refused to implement the law, saying he supports budget autonomy but believes Congress must pass a bill to grant it. The D.C. Council sued as a result.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan agreed with Gray, ruling that Congress is the only body that can grant budget autonomy and barring city officials from enforcing the law.

The city currently adopts its own budget but needs Congress' sign off.