On May 30, the Council took the first of two required votes on the bills that comprise our budget. On June 13, the Council will take the second required budget vote. But at the most recent legislative meeting, the budget was not on the agenda, and instead the Council tackled the standard legislative matters that are our bread and butter outside of budget season.
It is worth noting that the Council is particularly active this time of year. Prior to the May 30 budget meeting, the Council also met on May 2 and 16. And leading into the summer, in addition to the June 13 budget vote, the Council will also be meeting on June 27 and July 11.
At the most recent meeting, outside of items on the consent agenda (consisting primarily of ceremonial resolutions, nominations, and contracts), only three measures were considered. These were a Ward 4 alley closure, a preference for DC-based Certified Business Enterprises in the registration of medical marijuana facilities, and modification of Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham’s retirement benefits to mirror those of his predecessor.
Most new bills begin their journeys via an introduction from the Council dais. The bills introduced at the most recent meeting (which will join others recently introduced in priming the pump for the Council’s post-budget workload) included measures to:
•Notify District residents returning from incarceration that their voting rights have been re-established
•Affirm the Council’s commitment to the Paris Accords on climate change
•Expand the Healthy Students Act to strengthen the focus on breakfast, encourage schools to offer physical education, and to incentivize the use of socially and environmentally responsible foods
•Prohibit ivory trafficking
•Clarify that the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act does not apply to Accessory Dwelling Units
•Allow for earlier issuance of Notices of Funding Availability for Housing Production Trust Fund opportunities
•Improve notification of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions regarding vacant and blighted properties and related vacancy tax-status determination hearings
•Formally establish under law the Office on African American Affairs
•Allow new full-service grocery stores in Ward 4 to apply for a Class B liquor license
•Allow seniors to transfer any accumulated property tax cap value to a new residence when downsizing
•Exclude pensions and long-term care insurance from income tax calculations
•Support a proposed federal Equality Act, which will add sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation to the groups receiving civil rights protections
Additionally, Ceremonial Resolutions were provided to recognize:
•The Ridge Road Titans Junior Pee Wee Champion football team
•David Culp, Jr. for his various contribution to civic life in the District
•The 27th Annual DC Black Pride Festival
•Angela Franco for her service leading the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
•June as Gun Violence Awareness Month
•Robert Spagnoletti for his service on the DC Board of Ethics and Government Accountability
For a full listing of all votes taken at this meeting, please click here.