In general, most legislative meetings have agendas that include multiple sections: first votes, second votes, temporary legislation, emergency legislation, ceremonial resolutions, etc. In an upcoming post, we will attempt to describe each category as understandably as possible.
However, since (as indicated in the previous article) virtually no legislation introduced in one Council Period but not passed in that Period survives to the following Council Period, the first Legislative Meeting of this Council Period was dominated by one category of action: the introduction of new legislation.
Many pieces of legislation are introduced in each Council Period, and in general, when writing up a Legislative Meeting, we focus on the legislation that had its first or second vote before the Council. But since the initial Legislative Meeting was focused so much more on introductions than votes, we figured we would take this opportunity to take a one-time closer look at new bill introductions.
Change for Life District Donation Parking Meters Fund Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Vincent Orange, this bill would authorize the installation of forty modified parking meters in areas with high pedestrian traffic, to be used as donation receptacles that will benefit homelessness service programs, as is currently done in many other US cities.
Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Orange, this bill would ban employers from testing their potential employees for marijuana use while the hiring process is ongoing.
Contractor Pay-to-Play Elimination Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Chairman Phil Mendelson, this bill would turn traditional pay-to-play prohibitions on their heads—instead of banning contractors from donating to campaigns, donors would be banned from contracting (and other similar relationships) with the government.
Government Grant Administration Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Chairman Mendelson, this bill would reform the District’s grant procedures, including a provision similar to that in the previous bill, whereby campaign donors would be banned from contracting with the District.
Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember David Grosso, this bill would do exactly what it sounds like it would.
Enhanced Penalties for Distracted Driving Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Chairman Mendelson, this bill would increase the fines for those who are found to have repeatedly engaged in distracted driving, culminating in a driver’s license suspension for those who have three violations within eighteen months.
Access to Contraceptives Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Chairman Mendelson, this bill would require health insurance plans to allow the dispensing of twelve months’ worth of contraceptives, rather than the three months that is a frequent current practice.
Thurgood Marshall-Marion Barry Early Education Learning Academy Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Orange, this bill would create an early education pilot program in the Fort Lincoln neighborhood.
Reading Development and Third Grade Retention Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Orange, this bill would institute strengthened standards for third graders, expand programs in earlier grades to assist with meeting these standards, and to hold back children who do not meet these standards prior to finishing third grade
Unemployment Profile Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Orange, this bill would require the government to create an accurate profile of the District’s unemployed citizens, so as to better pair the unemployed with current and future economic development projects.
Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Charles Allen, this bill would reform the District’s currently strict laws regarding surrogate parenting in order to facilitate the practice.
Small Business Incubator Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Allen, this bill would allow for the creation of temporary business licenses and certificates of occupancy, so as to assist in the incubation of small business in their formative stages.
Council Contract Review Repeal Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Jack Evans, this bill would eliminate the Council’s ability to review contracts signed by the Mayor.
Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Evans, this will would exempt veterans determined to be 100% disabled from a portion of the property tax on their primary residence.
Pennsylvania Avenue Development Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Evans, this bill would establish the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, similar to a defunct similar federal-local organization eliminated in the 1990s, in order to unify efforts to beautify this key corridor.
The High Technology Investment Authority Establishment Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, this bill would establish a high tech investment authority, in order to further incentivize the expansion of the District’s tech sector.
Fairness in Public Engagement During Sale of Public Lands Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember McDuffie, this bill would ensure that open public meetings be held in each and every neighborhood affected by the sale of any public lands.
Health Benefit Exchange Authority Financial Sustainability Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Yvette Alexander, this bill modifies the funding structure for the Health Benefit Exchange so as to ensure its financial sustainability.
Ruby Whitfield Way Designation Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember McDuffie, this will would ceremonially rename the 1100 block of Florida Avenue, NE for Ruby Whitfield, a pedestrian killed when hit by a car in this block.
Behavioral Health Coordination of Care Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Alexander, this bill would allow limited sharing of mental health records by medical professionals in an effort to improve care.
Healthy Hearts of Babies Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Alexander, this bill would require all hospitals to perform pulse oximetry tests on all newborn children prior to their discharge, in an effort to better detect congenital heart defects.
Access to Emergency Epinephrine in Schools Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Mary Cheh, this bill would require all DC schools to adopt policies allowing staff to use school-owned epinephrine pens in suspected cases of anaphylactic shock, and to waive liability in the good-faith use of these pens.
Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Cheh, this bill would reform the District’s contributory negligence laws, which would increase pedestrian and bicyclist rights in insurance matters.
Rail Safety and Security Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Cheh, this bill would reform the regulation of rail safety in the District.
Instant Runoff Voting Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Grosso, this bill would institute instant runoff elections beginning with the 2018 primary elections for Mayor, Councilmember, and Attorney General.
Pre-K Student Discipline Amendment Act of 2015: Introduced by Councilmember Grosso, this bill would ban the suspension or expulsion of children in the grades prior to kindergarten in any publicly-funded early childhood education program, and establish reporting requirements regarding suspensions and expulsions in all schools.
For further information on these bills, or any past or future legislation, please check here.