Council Implements Reprimand; Flurry of New Bills Introduced

The Council is currently deep in the midst of its budget season, which slows, but does not halt, the pace of the legislative process. From the day it receives the budget from the Mayor, the Council has 56 days until its first budget vote, and 70 days until its second vote, so it is a bit of a whirlwind. Having said that, the legislative process marches on, as it should it and as it must.

At the most recent Legislative Meeting, the Council unanimously passed the third of three elements of disciplinary sanction against Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans for his misuse of Council email for private purposes. At the previous Legislative Meeting, two other elements were approved: Councilmember Evans was formerly reprimanded, and it was decided that specific tax abatement legislation would no longer be referred to the Committee on Finance and Revenue, which Councilmember Evans chairs. Also at that earlier meeting, it was decided that the Washington Convention and Sports Authority/Events DC and the Commission of Arts and Humanities would be removed from the jurisdiction of the Committee on Finance and Revenue. However, under Council rules, this actual change in Council jurisdiction could not occur at the prior meeting, and instead was formally voted on at the most recent meeting, where it passed unanimously.

A Ceremonial Resolution presented at the most recent meeting recognized the 50th Anniversary of Capitol Hill Group Ministry and its service to the community.

In other action, measures introduced at the most recent meeting, if enacted, would:

  • Implement a number of reforms to improve the nutritional quality of food served in homeless shelters
  • Strengthen the framework within which autonomous vehicles can be tested
  • Express the Sense of the Council that airplane noise in the District has reached disruptive levels
  • Support the placement of statues representing diverse Washingtonians across the District
  • Create an Advisory Commission on Monuments, Markers, and Symbols that would consider the appropriateness of names of current District-owned building and place names
  • Extend the legal protections against abuse that currently apply to law enforcement personnel so that they also apply to all transit workers
  • Create a holiday honoring Indigenous Peoples, to be held on the former Columbus Day
  • Continue clarifying the use of rent concessions, to make clear that they can be used to assist those facing difficult circumstances, but that all rent calculations will be based on paid rent
  • Reform councilmember constituent services funds to better target spending towards constituent needs
  • Strengthen school-based budgeting and transparency at both public and charter schools
  • Extend current affordable housing setasides intended for government land dispositions so that they apply to land dispositions by quasigovernmental agencies as well
  • Initiate a charter amendment process that would restrict councilmembers from holding a second job other than teaching
  • Expand the Bicycle Advisory Council to include the Department of Public Works, since DPW has jurisdiction over parking enforcement, and much illegal parking occurs in bike lanes
  • Make business assistance loans available to small businesses affected by the redevelopment of the bus depot on upper 14th Street
  • Develop mandatory financial literacy training for 11th and 12th graders
  • Clarify that Advisory Neighborhood Commission input on the Comprehensive Plan should be given the same “great weight” treatment as it is on other governmental topics
  • Recertify the DC Healthcare Alliance as a Community Health Provider
  • Express the Sense of the Council urging fair and equitable funding for Ward 8 schools
  • Further strengthen the regulatory framework for the testing and use of autonomous vehicles in DC

For a full list of votes taken at the most recent meeting, please click here.

The next scheduled Legislative Meeting of the Council will be held on May 7.