Ebbs and Flows of Legislative Cycle on View at Third Legislative Meeting

While each two-year Council Period is different, there is a certain cyclical nature to what the Council does. For example, the Council’s legislative agenda is fuller at the end of the Council Period than at the beginning. Similarly, during the three-month oversight season, during which every District agency is the focus of both a Performance and a Budget hearing, the pace of other hearings and markups abates to a certain degree. Thus, the legislation up for a Council vote also temporarily slows.

This was the case for the Third Legislative Meeting of the current Council Period. As always, though, a flurry of new bills was introduced. Those included measures which, if passed, would:

• Eliminate disclosure of past arrests in District government grant application materials
• Express the Sense of the Council in support of the creation of a Religious Minorities Liaison Unit with the Metropolitan Police Department
• Expand the False Claims Act to include tax evasion offenses, and to empower whistleblowers in such cases
• Target academic credential fraud practiced by so-called “diploma mills”
• Create a pilot program that would allow public housing residents to establish a credit record and escape “credit invisibility” through their payment of rent for public housing units
• Allow the use of electronic “e-signatures” for estate planning purposes
• Clarify that the Office is the Attorney General is authorized to enforce consumer protection laws against housing providers
• Provide grants to low income seniors for the provision of basic dental care
• Create a Maternal Mental Health Care Task Force
• Provide financial support to the New Columbia Statehood Fund, Statehood Delegation, and related marketing efforts
• Ensure ongoing coverage of autism healthcare services
• Provide employee transportation equity by counterbalancing parking benefits with other benefits for non-drivers
• Create a community health care revolving fund to incentivize providers to serve underserviced areas and improve access to capital for community health care organizations
• Encourage the Mayor to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which would facilitate the use of telemedicine to treat those in under-resourced communities
• Create a Commission on Poverty in the District of Columbia to examine the needs of those experiencing poverty, evaluate existing anti-poverty programs, and make recommendations for future action
• Explore alternatives to suspension in DC Public Schools
• Assess the need for larger public housing units and to require a set percentage of units funded by the Housing Production Trust Fund to include three or more bedrooms
• Require biennial ward-by-ward comprehensive transportation studies
• Allow lender foreclosure against vacant and abandoned housing properties

In addition, previously passed Ceremonial Resolutions were presented to honor the distinguished service of pro bono attorneys Karen Dunn and Brian Netter in their successful effort fighting for the District’s budget autonomy, and to Go-Go Fitness LLC on the occasion of its fifth anniversary.

The next scheduled Legislative Meeting will be held on April 4.

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