On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the Council convened a Committee of the Whole meeting. During the meeting, the Council adopted the public oversight hearing schedule and FY2020 budget oversight hearing schedule for this year.

February 4
Hearing on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)

February 6 to March 1
Performance Oversight Hearings

March 20
Mayor Releases FY 2020 Budget

March 22
Committee of the Whole Budget Hearing

March 25 to April 25
Budget Oversight Hearings

April 26
Committee of the Whole Hearing on the Local Budget Act and the Budget Support Act

April 30, May 1-2
Budget Markups

TBA
Budget Work Session in Chairman’s Conference Room

May 14
First Vote on Budget

May 28
Second Vote on Budget

An additional legislative meeting immediately followed the Committee of the Whole. At the meeting, Councilmember Anita Bonds successfully introduced emergency legislation, the Federal Worker Housing Relief Emergency Act of 2019, that would require judges to stay any motions from landlords/creditors against furloughed federal workers and contractors during shutdown and for 30 days thereafter benefitting 80,000 federal worker and contractors living in the District. CM Allen introduced an amendment, considered friendly, clarifying that the bill would also apply to furloughed employees of DC courts who are equally affected by the shutdown. Both the emergency and temporary legislation unanimously passed and will become effective immediately following the Mayor’s signature. Councilmember Bonds will work with stakeholders to draft a permanent version of the bill that she will introduce this year.

Also, during today’s meeting, Councilmember Charles Allen successfully moved a motion (11-2) to override Mayor Bowser’s veto of the Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2018 (B22-408) that his committee (Judiciary and Public Safety) shepherded through the Council last fall. Councilmember Evans, chair of the Metro board and Chairman Mendelson objected Allen’s motion and voted to keep the Mayor’s veto. As passed, the bill decriminalizes Metro fare evasion making it a civil fine punishable by a $50 citation. Forty-five organizations including groups like Bread for the City, DC Fiscal Policy Institute, DC for Democracy among others, signed a letter urging the Council to override the veto. This is the first Council override of one of the Mayor’s vetoes.

The next legislative meeting is scheduled for February 5, 2019.

Councilmember Mary Cheh


Ticket Payment Plan Amendment Act of 2019 (Re-introduced)

As introduced, the bill will make a number of changes to the manner in which the District collects delinquent debt service from residents specifically money owed to the commission of a moving, parking or non-moving infractions. The bill will also allow all persons to seek discharge of $100 or more in delinquent debt incurred through the commission of moving, parking or non-moving infractions the opportunity to participate in a payment plan agreement. Each individual will only be permitted to participate in one payment plan at a time and no more than two payment plans within a 12 month period. Failure to successfully complete a payment plan would automatically prevent an individual from participating in additional plans for a period of three years.

Co-Introducers: Silverman, Nadeau, Bonds, Allen, T. White, R. White, Grosso
Co-Sponsors: Evans
Committee-Referral: Sequentially to the Committee on Transportation & Environment and Committee on Finance & Revenue


Vulnerable User Collision Recovery Amendment Act of 2019

As introduced, the bill will expand the Motor Collision Vehicle Recovery Act of 2016 to protect riders of electric bikes and scooters. The reforms from the 2016 bill benefitted riders by changing the legal standard to comparative negligence from contributory negligence. By way of background, the earlier law came about before the rise of shared electric bikes and scooters—which began in fall 2017—so it doesn't explicitly cover them. whether a rider can seek legal damages "may come down to which brand of dockless bike [they're] riding" and whether it has a motor, says Councilmember Cheh.

Co-Introducers: Chairman Mendelson, Allen, Grosso
Co-Sponsors: Nadeau, McDuffie
Committee-Referral: Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety


School Sunscreen Safety Amendment Act of 2019 (Re-Introduced)

As introduced, the bill will exclude sunscreen from being considered medication under the Student Access to Treatment Act of 2007 and allow students to possess and self-administer sunscreen without a medication action plan. It also requires training for school agents and employees on administering sunscreen to students among other things.

Co-Introducers: Silverman, Nadeau, Todd, Allen, R. White, Gray
Co-Sponsors: Grosso
Committee-Referral: Committee on Education, Committee of the Whole


Councilmember Elissa Silvermanember


Housing Voucher Utility Disconnection Notification Amendment Act of 2019

As introduced, the bill would require the DC Housing Authority to be notified by utility companies when voucher-holders’ bill are more than 90 days past due. The bill would help connect housing voucher holders who are behind on their utility bills with resources they need before the outstanding bill becomes unmanageable.

Co-Introducers: Nadeau, Cheh, Todd, Grosso, R. White, Bonds
Co-Sponsors: Gray, Allen
Committee-Referral: Committee on Housing and Committee on Business


Councilmember Vince Gray


Supermarket Tax Incentives Eligible Area Amendment Act of 2019

As introduced, the bill will include census tract containing a Ward 7 supermarket as an eligible area for DMPEDs existing supermarket tax incentives to provide additional support to a grocery store in Ward 7.

Co-Introducers: Evans, Cheh, R. White, McDuffie, T. White, Bonds
Co-Sponsors: Grosso
Committee-Referral: Committee on Finance & Revenue


Park 7 at Minnesota and Benning Tax Abatement Act of 2019

Provide tax relief to Park 7 in Ward 7.

Co-Introducers: Bonds
Co-Sponsors:
Committee-Referral: Committee on Finance & Revenue


Downs Way Designation Act of 2019

Symbolically designate a public street after DC resident Robert Downs.

Co-Introducers: Bonds
Co-Sponsors: Grosso, Allen
Committee-Referral: Committee of the Whole


Councilmember David Grosso


Health Impact Assessment Program Establishment Act of 2019

As introduced, the bill establish a Health Impact Assessment Program within the Department of Health to assess how new construction, mixed use development and other projects impact residents.

Co-Introducers: Gray, Nadeau, Silverman, Bonds
Co-Sponsors: Gray, Nadeau, Silverman, Bonds
Committee-Referral: Committee on Health


Medical Marijuana Patient Health and Accessibility Improvement Amendment Act of 2019

As introduced, the bill will improve access to the District of Columbia’s medical marijuana program for residents as another method of reducing opioid-related deaths and address the challenges those face with consuming medical marijuana outside of their home by granting provisional registration and same-day access to medical marijuana like any other medicine.

Co-Introducers: Gray, Nadeau
Co-Sponsors: Bonds
Committee-Referral: Under advisement


Sense of the Council Urging the Federal Government to Prevent Nuclear War Resolution of 2019

To declare the sense of the Council that the District of Columbia is committed to promoting the human rights and well-being of all its residents, workers, and visitors; and to call on the federal government to prevent nuclear war.

Co-Introducers: Allen, R. White, Chairman Mendelson
Co-Sponsors: McDuffie, Gray
Committee-Referral: Retained


Councilmember Trayon White


Commission on Poverty Act of 2019

As introduced, the bill will establish a Commission on Poverty that will comprehensively look at issues affecting race and poverty. The Commission will be composed of 13 members: 8 Ward members and 5 at-large members. A majority of the Commission members must have incomes below the poverty line or must have recently come out of poverty. Three paid staff members including an Executive Director who must reside in the District, will run the Commission.

Co-Introducers: Chairman Mendelson, Bonds, Nadeau, Silverman, R. White, Cheh, Todd, Gray, Allen, McDuffie
Co-Sponsors:
Committee-Referral: Committee on Labor and Workforce Development with comments from the Committee on Housing, Committee on Human Services, and Committee on Government Operations


Chairman Phil Mendelson


Department of Buildings Establishment Act of 2019 (Re-introduced)

As introduced, the bill will establish a new Department of Buildings as a subordinate agency within the Executive branch with oversight of construction compliance, rental housing safety, and residential property maintenance activities in the District.

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


Grocery Store Development Projects Labor Peace Agreement Amendment Act of 2019

As introduced, the bill will require a labor agreement for most grocery store development projects in the District.

Co-Introducers: Bonds, Grosso, Silverman, R. White, Nadeau, Evans, Todd, Cheh, Allen, T. white
Co-Sponsors:
Committee-Referral: Committee on Labor and Workforce Development


Marion S. Barry Building Designation Act of 2019

As introduce, the bill would officially rename One Judiciary Square/441 4th St. NW after late former Mayor Marion Barry. The Chairman said that Barry's widow, Cora Masters Barry, asked for them to consider the name change.

Co-Introducers: All Councilmembers
Co-Sponsors:
Committee-Referral: Committee of the Whole


Chairman Mendelson at the Request of the Office of the Attorney General


B23-0073 - Attorney General Civil Rights Enforcement Clarification Amendment Act of 2019

As introduced, January 16, 2019, the bill will authorize the Attorney General to bring civil action under the Human Rights Act in the name of the District of Columbia; to clarify that, in a fair housing action, the aggrieved party may retain his own counsel at any time; and clarify that the Attorney General may seek to withdraw from the representing aggrieved party and continue representing only the District’s interests f he believes that the District’s and the aggrieved party’s interest diverge.

Co-Introducers:
Co-Sponsors:
Committee-Referral: Committee on Government Operations with comments from the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety


Chairman Mendelson at the Request of the Mayor


B23-0074 - Low Income Housing Tax Credit TOPA Exemption for Transfers of Interest Act of 2019

As introduced January 16, 2019, the legislation will amend the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act of 1980 to exempt low income housing tax credit redevelopment projects from the notice requirements.

Co-Introducers:
Co-Sponsors:
Committee-Referral: Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization