On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, the DC Council convened its monthly Committee of the Whole meeting immediately followed by an additional Legislative Meeting. During the Committee of the Whole, the following measures were introduced by Councilmembers from the dais. Of the seven bills introduced, five were re-introduced measures from the previous council period, that essentially “died” in committee due to lack of activity.

The next regularly scheduled legislative meeting will be on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

Councilmember Brianne Nadeau

The District of Columbia Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact Act of 2019

As introduced, the bill seeks to increase access to District residents to qualified licensed psychologists by joining the interstate compact of participating states (currently six) and allowing participating psychologists to treat patients electronically; the bill authorizes both telepsychology and temporary in person psychology.

Co-Introducers: Gray, Grosso, Silverman, Cheh
Co-Sponsors: Allen
Committee-Referral: Sequentially Committee on Health, Committee of the Whole

Councilmember Charles Allen

Open Movie Captioning Requirement Act of 2019 (Re-introduced)

As introduced, the bill would provide that an entity holding a basic business license with an “Entertainment: Moving picture theater” Endorsement shall provide open movie captioning to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing patrons; to provide that a violation shall be unlawful discriminatory practice; and to require notice of the requirements of this act. In a change from the version introduced the last Council Period, theaters would have to offer 12% of weekly screenings with open captions as opposed to requiring a specific number.

Co-Introducers: Grosso, Silverman, Evans, R. White, Bonds, Nadeau
Co-Sponsors: Cheh
Committee-Referral: Committee of the Whole

Office on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Establishment Act of 2019 (Re-introduced)

As introduced, the bill would establish an Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing that would focus on improving accessibility for residents who are deaf, hard of hearing; provide workforce support; and, ensuring ASL interpreters at meetings. Councilmember Allen reiterated his motivation behind the measure comes as a result of elected ANC commissioners who are deaf highlighting the fact that the city's accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing residents needs improvement.

Co-Introducers: Grosso, Evans, R. White, Nadeau
Co-Sponsors: Cheh, Gray
Committee-Referral: Committee on Government Operations with comments from the Committee on Health

Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment Act of 2019 (Parking Cash Out) (Re-introduced)

As introduced, the bill requires employers who offer a parking benefit to match that benefit for alternative forms of commuting - public transit, cycling, walking, etc. In a change from the previous version, the menu of options for employers has expanded in response to comments from a hearing Councilmember Cheh convened last year. The bill also defines the value of parking which makes compliance clearer for employers. It also exempts employer owned parking lots from the requirements.

Co-Introducers: Cheh
Co-Sponsors: Bonds, Grosso, Neadeau
Committee-Referral: Committee on Transportation & Environment

Councilmember Brandon Todd

Dyslexia and Other Disabilities Screening and Prevention Pilot Program Act of 2019 (Re-introduced)

As introduced, the bill would establish a dyslexia screening and intervention pilot program for early elementary aged students. The bill would require OSSE to develop, adopt and provide for the implementation of the pilot program and would require universal screening of students in pre-k through grade 3.

Co-Introducers: Nadeau, Evans, Bonds, Allen
Co-Sponsors: Cheh, T. White
Committee-Referral: Sequentially Committee on Education, Committee of the Whole

Blind Students Literacy and Education Rights Act of 2019 (Re-introduced)

As introduced, the bill will ensure that students Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) include provisions for braille education.

Co-Introducers: Nadeau, Grosso, Bonds, Allen
Co-Sponsors: R. White, Gray, Evans, Cheh, T. White
Committee-Referral: Sequentially Committee on Education, Committee of the Whole

Councilmember Trayon White

Fair Tenant Screening Act of 2019

As introduced the bill would prohibit housing providers of inquiries of source of income or credit history and would require prospective tenants to be notified of the collection of application fees.

Co-Sponsors: Grosso, Gray, Bonds
Committee-Referral: Committee on Govt Ops with comments from the Committee on Housing