Council Makes Small But Necessary Legislative Adjustments

The Council’s next Legislative Meeting on May 30, and the just-completed Meeting, make for an interesting pairing.

On May 30, the Council will take the first of two votes on the District’s complete budget—a multi-billion dollar measure that touches on every single aspect of our government’s operation. The media, advocates, and the general public will pay close attention because of the sheer magnitude of the Council’s decisions on that day.

Though on the opposite end of the spectrum from the scope perspective, the decisions made at the most recent meeting are needed just as much from a good government perspective. Whether it’s human health, or car/home repair, periodic maintenance might lack the “wow” factor, but without it, things break down.

One measure approved at the most recent meeting shifted the District’s primary election date from September to June, in an admission that the relevant agency could not confidently meet all federal requirements without such a change. A technical amendment to another measure ensured that the complete expected scope of child neglect and sex trafficking violations would be covered as intended by a new law. Another measure brought existing Inclusionary Zoning law in line with recent Zoning Commission actions. A final measure would allow a pending medical marijuana cultivation center applicant in a certain ward to shift their application to a new location.

Measures such as these may seem technical, making adjustments rather than making waves. But efficient government operation requires not just attention-getting new programs, but also ensuring existing efforts remain on target. And that is what this most recent Legislative Meeting was all about.

New measures introduced at this meeting included those that would:

  • Create a tax credit for local community development financial institutions to create more affordable  housing
  • Require the DC Retirement Board to report on steps taken to diversify its fund manager population
  • Allow police officers injured in the line of duty to return to partial duty rather than being forced to retire
  • Allow those pursuing action by the Office of Human Rights to preserve their right to seek legal action in the courts as well
  • Study whether vacant office properties can feasibly be converted to affordable housing
  • Expand property tax relief for lower income seniors

For a full list of all votes taken at this meeting, please click here.