Initial look at Council Period 21 includes reduced number of committees, shuffling of jurisdictions

In a preliminary look at how the Council will be organized in Council Period 21 (2015-2017), the number of committees will be reduced from ten (nine plus the Committee of the Whole) in Council Period 20 to eight (seven plus the Committee of the Whole) in Council Period 21. 

Among the larger committee changes that were announced today, the existing Committee on Health and Committee on Human Services will be merged into a single Committee on Health and Human Services, to be chaired by Councilmember Yvette Alexander.

A new Committee on Housing and Community Development, chaired by Councilmember Anita Bonds, will combine some elements that were previously overseen by the Committee on Economic Development and the Committee on Government Operations (now both defunct).

Subject to much speculation was whether the Committee of Education would remain a standalone committee (as it was in Council Period 20), or would return to the jurisdiction of the Committee of the Whole (as it was in prior Council Periods). In the end, Education will remain its own committee, and that committee will be chaired by Councilmember David Grosso.

The current Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety will now be called the Committee on the Judiciary, and will have an expanded jurisdiction to include elections and ethics matters. The committee’s new chair will be Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie.

Committees maintaining both their current names and chairs are Finance and Revenue (Councilmember Jack Evans), Transportation and the Environment (Councilmember Mary Cheh), and Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs (Councilmember Vincent Orange).

Among smaller jurisdictional changes are:

  • The Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, shifting from the prior Committee on Economic Development to the Committee of the Whole
  • The Interagency Council on Homelessness, shifting from the prior Committee on Human Services to the Committee of the Whole
  • The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), shifting from the former Committee on Economic Development to the Committee on Finance and Revenue
  • If the District’s Olympics bid moves forward, it too will be within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Finance and Revenue
  • The Department of General Services, shifting from the former Committee on Government Operations to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment

The exact membership of each committee, and the exact jurisdiction of the committees, will likely undergo some changes prior to their formal enactment at a January 2 meeting of the Council.