The District Columbia would have more financial security under legislation introduced last week by Rep. Fortney Stark, D-Calif., who is chairman of the House District of Columbia Committee.

Under one of Stark's proposals, the annual federal payment to the district would increase locally generated revenues to 30% over a six-year period from the current 24%. The plan also specifies what count as locally generated revenues.

Two years ago, Congress adopted legislation that pegs the federal payment -- money provided the city as compensation for the burdens of hosting the federal government -- at 24% of locally generated revenues.

But Congress and district officials subsequently have clashed over what exactly constitutes local revenues. Those disagreements are far from academic. As a direct result of disagreements over the size of the federal payment owed the city, district officials had to scramble to fill a $30 million hole in the city's fiscal 1993 budget.

Stark also last week introduced legislation that would prohibit federal agencies from transferring more than 50 workers out of the district without the prior permission of Congress. The legislation is designed to stem the flow of federal workers into the Washington, D.C., suburbs, a trend that may be exacerbating the city's financial woes.

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