In the D.C. Council’s final legislative session before a two-month recess, city lawmakers will tackle several high-profile issues.
Among other bills, the council on Tuesday will consider legislation on the District’s dormant breath-test program, taxicab reform and residential parking.
The council is also expected to vote on the reappointment of D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi and new appointments to the D.C. Board of Ethics.
●Breath tests: D.C. police stopped conducting breath tests for suspected drunk drivers last year, after the disclosure that some tests were greatly inflating motorists’ alcohol levels. The new legislation would permit police to begin using the tests again next month. The legislation would also implement stricter blood alcohol limits and punishment for intoxicated drivers.
●Taxicab reform: The proposed changes include cab upgrades, such as credit-card readers, GPS devices and a uniform color for all cabs.
●Residential parking: Under the parking proposal on Tuesday’s agenda, developers would be allowed to build housing without guaranteeing parking for residents. Additionally, the city would be able to deny new residents a zoned parking permit. The proposal stems from concerns over dwindling parking and a desire to steer more people to mass transit in a city that has been adding about 1,000 residents each month.
●Chief financial officer:
Gandhi has been the District’s CFO since 2000. He has been applauded as the man responsible for the city’s financial turnaround. But detractors point to holes in the tax office — notably the $48 million embezzlement by a mid-level tax office management and others — and controversy surrounding the award of the District’s lottery contract.
●D.C. Board of Ethics:
Three members are expected to be appointed to the newly created Board of Ethics, which was formed in the wake of criminal and ethical misconduct charges against elected officials. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) nominated Robert J. Spagnoletti, the former city attorney general, to head the board and tapped Laura Richards, a lawyer and former regulator, and Deborah Lathen, a consultant and former official with the Federal Communications Commission, to serve as board members.
Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.