Court of Appeals Holds that D.C. Council Lawfully Transferred Several Million Dollars from Special Fund to General Fund

On May 24, 2012, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals decided Washington, D.C. Association of Realtors, Inc. v. District of Columbia, No. 11-CV-833, slip op. (D.C. May 24, 2012) in which it considered a case arising from legislation of the D.C. Council directing the transfer of several million dollars from the Real Estate Guarantee and Education Fund to the District’s General Fund. Several associations of realtors challenged the transfer in Superior Court. They alleged that the transfer violated Section 450 of the District’s Home Rule Act and the Real Estate Licensure Act of 1982. The Superior Court granted summary judgment to the District. The Court of Appeals affirmed. It held that nothing in Section 450 of the Home Rule Act prohibits the D.C. Council “from legislating a transfer of monies out of a special fund and into the General Fund.” It also held that nothing in the Real Estate Licensure Act of 1982 prohibits the D.C. Council from transferring monies from the Real Estate Guarantee and Education Fund to the General Fund and that, even if such a prohibition existed, an earlier enactment of the D.C. Council could not prohibit the D.C. Council from enacting subsequent legislation directing a transfer.